FAI chief John Delaney will officially launch Ballinrobe’s annual Queen of The Lakes festival in what is being perceived as a coup for the organisers. The launch will take place on Saturday, July 7, in The Valkenburg, Ballinrobe.
The festival starts on July 28 and ends with the crowning of the 2012 Queen on Bank Holiday Monday, August 6. Festival PRO Paddy McTigue is delighted that the FAI chief will officiate at the launch. “It’s a great honour for the town,” he stated.
Although talks with Delaney began six weeks ago, his appearance at the launch was only confirmed last week. “Securing his participation is special considering the Euros … You never know, he might have a cup with him,” joked the PRO. “We all love to dream,” he added.
Mr Delaney, a previous visitor to the town, has close ties with local soccer club Ballinrobe Town AFC. Mr McTigue explained that the FAI chief sourced ball girls and boys for the Ireland vs Wales Carling Cup clash from Ballinrobe, and that he also invited the local girls’ soccer team to a game last year in the Aviva.
Members of the Western Veteran and Vintage Motor Club are also planning to be on hand for the launch, when they will chauffeur the selected Queens around the town.
The week-long festival promises to be a week of fun-filled activities for all the family. The schedule of events includes the annual ‘Heritage Day’ with traditional music and sean nós dancing, a family picnic and fun day, street music provided by Chris Loughrey, a soapbox race and a duathalon.