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Molly Carroll was born and raised in Chicago and brought up in a strong Chicago Irish community. She is delighted to be representing Chicago in this year's Mary From Dungloe International Festival and feels it is a great opportunity for her and other young women to showcase their Irish heritage.

“The Irish-Americans in Chicago have kept their heritage alive and these jewels have all been passed down to me, and for them I am grateful. I will proudly pass these on to the next generation. I have grown up with a strong proud Irish family as my father, Brendan Carroll, hails from Galway and my maternal Grandparents, Liz & Johnny O'Hagan, hail from Donegal. I spent many summers growing up in Ireland, said Molly.”  
 
After graduating from high school in 2014, she took a leap of faith and moved to Ireland on her own to begin her undergraduate degree. “Moving to Ireland to continue my education had always been a dream of mine since I was very young and to this day I am so happy and proud that I followed my instinct. I graduated from Dublin Institute of Technology with a BSc in Marketing and I am currently working on my MSc Marketing Practice at NUI Galway,” said Ms. Carroll.

On June 8th she was presented with her sash in Dungloe by her best friend and last years’ Chicago Mary from Dungloe, Hannah Galvin.

Molly will be flying to Ireland before the Festival starts on the 27th of July and will be involved in a full week of activities and events in Dungloe and Donegal. The events highlight the natural talents of the people of Donegal, from music, arts, food and theatre. Molly is looking forward to meeting all the other ‘Marys’ and people involved in the festival as well as making new friendships and memories.
 
About the Festival
The Mary From Dungloe International Arts Festival has been held annually since 1967, usually at the end of July in the town of Dungloe, County Donegal on the Wild Atlantic Way in Donegal.

The festival is centered around a pageant to find out which contestant has the spirit of the festival, who is then crowned "Mary From Dungloe". The winner of the contest holds this title for a year and acts as an ambassador for the festival and for Dungloe.

Irish emigrant communities from around the world, as well as some Irish counties and towns, participate by nominating a young woman, endearingly titled a "Mary", to represent their community at the contest. The festival has grown in popularity over the years and now regularly attracts tens of thousands of visitors to the area. The theme of the Festival is the celebration of Donegal women, past and present. This year the Festival runs from the 27th of July to the 5th of August, 2019.
 
Sponsorship is helpful as it’s an expensive undertaking for a young lass. When asked about support, Molly said, “I wanted to say a big thank you to my sponsor Landview Excavating Inc., and to Irish American News, and the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago for all of their support! I would not be able to be on this incredible journey without them!

Instagram: @chicagomary2019  or Facebook: Chicago Mary from Dungloe

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