Contestants

Contestants

A New High King is to be crowned on Tara…Could it be you?

Can you beat all others and become the centre of the historically reconstructed crowning ceremony to take place on the Hill of Tara itself with thousands of witnesses?

13 men (or women) will compete with each other to demonstrate their leadership on the six tasks of the Na Fianna warriors.

Modern day kings in their own communities, these 13 final contestants embody the Na Fianna warrior mottoes:

  • Purity of our hearts
  • Strength of our limbs
  • Action to match our speech

If you think you could be the next High King (or Queen) email us with your contact details and a short paragraph stating why you should be selected to compete

Our email address is info@tarahighkingsfestival.ie

Our Contestants

Vitaliy Negoda

Hello, my name is Bhiataliidh Fionn Negoda MacDhúghaill in Irish and Scottish Gaelic or Vitaliy Negoda in Englsh. I am 31 years old and I live in Krasnodar, Russia. I am of Gaelic and Russian blood and I am proud of having both. According to our family tradition, my ancestors on my mom's side were the MacDowells, who came from Ireland to Russica in the beginning of the 18th century. I am a lawyer. My interests are Gaelic Martial Arts, Irish and Scottish history, music, poetry, Gaelic language and culture. 

If I become the new High King of Tara, I promise that I will upload fír flaithemon ("royal truth") for beloved Eire and her people. 

Jennifer McLean

I have a BSc Honours Degree in Psychology and am a Youth/Communuty worker at Grey Lodge Settlement, Dundee, Scotland. I enjoy travelling, snowboarding, swimming, surfing, bungee jumping, skydiving and painting. I have visited several places in Europe, North America, Australaisa and Aisa. I worked in Italy for a year. 

Kirk Lawless

A short Bio, Very hard to put a life so rich and full into such a short bio, but here goes. 

Fifty-four year old, 2nd gereration American. My seanathair, Francis was born in Cork. I am a recently retired, twenty-eight-year decorated, veteran police officer and Missouri cowboy, married to Lynda for twenty-nine years. We have three daughters and two sons and four granddaighters. 

I don't believe enough people explore their roots and culture. I do, and if it's Irish, count me in! I take my ancestral culture very, very seriously! I am now concentrating on my writing (I am a natural seanchai), poetry, oil painting, and as time allows, visiting the high holy places and ancient places where once walked my ancestors! So excited to be coming to Tara!

We are sorry to hear that Kirk Lawless had to withdraw from the competition due to health reasons and we wish him well for the future.

 
Nicky Deasy
 
Nicky Deasy founded Foudation Nepal, an Irish charity which helps illiterate and untouchable caste women in Nepal to become self-sufficient, by helping them establish small business. The charity also treats 20,000 patients and supports 2,000 children to go to primary school. Nicky has raised close to €1 million for the charity since 2007.

Paul Keely

My name is Paul Keely, I'm 27 and from Navan. I wish I had marvellous tale to tell about how great I am and all my heroic deeds to warrant putting myself forward to compete in this competition. However, I'm just like tens of thousands of other young Irishmen, hit hard and left idle by the economic crisis that is all too familar to most. 

I put the time my umemployment provided me with into regaining the physical fitness i'd once had as a teenager playing rugby for Navan and St Pats. I also went back into education and earned myself a BSc (Hons) in Health and Physical Activity Science, and now have started my own personal training business working out of the Irish Strenght Insiture in Dublin. My motto is "exercise is medicine" and I aim to out my knowledge to good use helping people become the strongest versions of themselves they can be.

Paul O' Brien

Who am I? 

By name, I am Paul O'Brien. By nature, I am much more - seeker, warrior, athlete, writer, actor, trainer, coach, explorer, adventurer. Hailing from Laois, I have lived in a few countries & travelled in many more. My goal in life is to fully realise what I am capable of - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. To acclaim ,y own 'diord Fionn' 

Cé mise? 

De réir ainm, tá mé Paul O' Brien. De réir nádúr, tá mé i bhfad nios mó - iarrthóir, laoch, lúthchleascai, scribhneoir, asiteoir, oiliúnóir, cóiste, taiscéalai, eachtránai. Hailing ó Laois, tá mé cóna i roinnt tiortha taisteal i bhfad nios mó. Is é mo sprioc sa saol a bhaint amach go hiomlán cad tá mé in ann - go fisicuil, meabhrach, mothúchánach agus go spioadálta. Chun gairdeas mo chuid féin 'diord Fionn'. 

Antoinette Faye Rooney

Hails from Dublin and has lived in Navan for the last 14 years. She is a second Don in both Wada Ryu and kickboxing but her first love is boxing, She is secretary and a coach in Johnstown ABC and also National Secretary to all female boxing within the IABA. She is a coach with the IABA junior, youth and senior teams. Antoinette is well known for her work in the Community and is often seen helping out at events and fund raising for a good cause. 

Christopher Hand

i'm 21 years old and from Navan. I'm a Youthworker with Involve Youth Group in Navan and work with a mixed group of young Travellers and settled people from the town. It gives me a great sense of achievement working with them. I really enjoy playing soccer with the group and working on our arts programme with them. I love with my fiancée Sarah and we have a baby on the way. I'm taking part in the tournament to be a role model for the young kids I work with. 

Darren Cawley

Representing the West of Ireland, and more importantly the Irish Kidney Association in promoting Donor Awareness at the festival. Received a transplant over 2 years ago and life couldn't be better, after being in hospital every 2 days for 9 years receiving dialysis. I've been blessed to represent Ireland at the World and European Transplant & Dialysis Games and winning 100m i've jokingly been referred to as the "Fastest Sick Person in Europe!" The Tara High Kings Festival is going to be an incredibly exciting event in bringing history in culture crashing into the 21st century. being a guinea pig is something I'm very excited about. On the fitness side of things I may be lacking but like the Fianna of old, I'll back from nothing!

Representing the West of Ireland, and more importantly the Irish Kidney Association in promoting Donor Awareness at the festival. Received a transplant over 2 years ago and life couldn't be better, after being in hospital every 2 days for 9 years receiving dialysis. I've been blessed to represent Ireland at the World and European Transplant & Dialysis Games and winning the 100m I've jokingly been referred to as the "Fastest Sick Person in Europe"! 
The Tara High Kings Festival is going to be an incredibly exciting event in bringing history and culture crashing into the 21st century. Being a guinea pig is something I'm very excited about. On the fitness side of things I may be lacking but like the Fianna of old, I'll back from nothing!

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