TEN of Ennis’ most eligible bachelors will be vying for the coveted title of Mr Ennis this weekend. Mr Gay Clare Timmie Murphy and Miss Clare Hazel McMahon will be putting the contestants through their paces this Saturday in The Grove at 9.30pm. The event is part of a fundraiser for St James’s Hospital in Dublin’s Newfill Project for HIV treatment organised by Timmie from Ballybeg, who will this month compete for the title of Mr Gay Ireland.
Timmie explained, “Over the last couple of months, we have got the list of finalists down to 10 for the Mr Ennis competition. There will be plenty of familiar faces there and big personalities. We have a big red carpet organised and we will have a number of rounds. There will be formal wear, casual wear and also an interview with the contestants by both myself and Miss Clare Hazel McMahon. The winner of the competition will be chosen by a public vote, everyone who comes along on the night will be given a voting card to vote for their favourite. The winner will be presented with a free photoshoot with photographer Louise Brooks.”
The search for Mr Ennis is just one factor in the fun night, with a host of entertainment planned. The hip hop crew from Sparks Dance School will be showing their moves, while the MAd theatre group will be performing a selection of songs from their upcoming production of Rent. Singer Clodagh Lawlor from Newmarket-on-Fergus is also set to perform.
It won’t be just those on stage who will have their chance to shine, as those attending the event will have the chance to be crowned best-dressed male and best-dressed female.
“So far, there has been a lot of interest around the town in the night and I’m hoping there will be a good crowd there. I’ve had lots of support from local businesses,” said Timmie.
This is the second major fundraiser organised by Timmie for The Newfill Project at St James’s Hospital, the chosen charity for the Mr Gay Ireland competition.
“I had a fashion show in Dublin in the New Look store where I work and it raised €300. That was just fantastic as it was an open event where members of the public just dropped in and gave us a few euros. I’m hoping that this event in Ennis will raise even more though. So many people have got involved in this event and I have got so much support here in Ennis, which is amazing.
“I’m hoping that before the final, I will have raised at least €1,000. It’s a great cause, St James’s is the only treatment centre. And when you think about it, all of the other contestants in the Mr Gay Ireland competition are also raising money for St James’s so by the end of October, we should have raised a good bit and of course that’s the main thing.”
St James’s Hospital provides the largest treatment centre for HIV and sexual health in Ireland. Newfill is a reconstructive treatment used to combat the effects of the antiretroviral medication used to treat HIV, as the medicine can cause facial wastage. The Newfill clinic receives no public funding and St James’s is the only hospital in Ireland providing the treatment at no cost to patients.
According to the St James’s Hospital Foundation, “The annual donation received by the clinic from the Mr Gay Ireland competition plays a hugely important role in ensuring this facility service is available”.
Timmie will be competing in the finals of the competition in Dublin’s Arlington Hotel on October 28. “I’m really looking forward to the finals,” he said. Online voting is set to begin in the coming weeks on the competition’s website www.mrgayireland.com, where people can show their support for Timmie. People can keep up to date with more fundraising events on Timmie’s facebook page, Mr Gay Clare Timmie Murphy.