Judge’s remarks get men involved in best dressed show

THE organisers of a Cork racing festival have decided to introduce a best dressed man competition after they were criticised — in a tongue and cheek fashion — by a judge for being sexist.

Judge Michael Pattwell made the comment last March at a sitting of Mallow District Court while hearing an application for a licence extension to coincide with the town’s Racing Home for Easter festival.

While perusing the festival brochure he observed, somewhat jokingly, that while there was a competition for the best dressed woman there was nothing similar for men.

Festival chairwoman Mary Kelly said they had acknowledged the judge’s comments and would be organising a best dressed man competition for this year’s event.

“We’ve taken Judge Pattwell’s advice on board and we’re issuing an open invitation for him to enter the contest this year,” Ms Kelly said.

Vincent Downes Menswear will sponsor the new best dressed man competition, which along with the ladies’ competition will be judged by former Miss Ireland Vivienne Doyle Quinn on Easter Sunday.

Meanwhile, Belgooly-based Aisling Kelleher of Velvet Bow milliners will also be looking for the most stylish hat on the day.

The festival is already very well supported, with Fáilte Ireland, local radio station C103 and Avondhu/Blackwater Development committed as sponsors of the three-day event.

Ms Kelly said the organising committee has been working on creating a varied programme of events during the last few months. There will be an extended Food and Craft Fair on Easter Sunday as well as pub and restaurant trails, sporting, cultural and heritage events, and the 10km family cycle.

“We have some surprises up our sleeves for 2011 and I’m delighted to say that there’s been overwhelming support from the local community who really enjoyed the variety of events and entertainment on offer last year and the fact that they didn’t need to go anywhere, it was right on their doorstep,” Ms Kelly said.

Festival-goers can follow the Racing Home for Easter programme on Facebook or on Twitter.

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