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New Mary from Dungloe Chosen

The new Mary from Dungloe, Shannon Alexander, serenaded by Vince Gallagher.

The new Mary from Dungloe, Shannon Alexander, serenaded by Vince Gallagher.

A 20-year-old chemical biology student at St. Joseph’s University and a capella singer was crowned the 2015 Mary from Dungloe at the Donegal Association of Philadelphia Ball on Saturday, November 30, at the Irish Center in Philadelphia.

Shannon Alexander of Sellersville will compete in Dungloe (Dun-low), County Donegal, in July 2015 at the 48th annual pageant, part of a week=long festival, which draws women of Irish descent from all over the world. (The current Mary from Dungloe, Kate Lindsay, is from Sydney, Australia.)

It will be the first trip to Ireland for Shannon, who plans to work in disease and drug research after graduation. Her grandmother was born in Donegal, and her grandfather in Galway. She’s a member of City Belles, St. Joseph University’s only a capella group (think “Pitch Perfect”).

Shannon was crowned by outgoing Mary, Kelly Devine, a public relations and social media account coordinator for a PR firm in Philadelphia. She is a graduate of St. Joseph’s University with a degree in food marketing and is competitive Irish dancer and teacher with the Coyle School of Irish Dance.

It was a packed house for the annual Donegal Ball and dancing went on into the wee hours to the sounds of the John “Lefty Kelly Band. Mary Crossan, a past president of the Donegal Association, planned the ball and grand marshal was John Durning.

We were there and took lots of photos so you can feel like you were there too.

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