Naas girl Gina picked as Miss Punchestown

Naas girl Gina Casey, aged 20, was crowned Miss Punchestown at a gala night at the Court Hotel last Friday.

Naas girl Gina Casey, aged 20, was crowned Miss Punchestown at a gala night at the Court Hotel last Friday.

The charity event, now in its seventh year, was organised in aid of Motor Neurone Disease.

Student Gina, from Kerdiff Avenue, also DJs on Irish language station Raidio Ri-Ra. She also plays the saxaphone and has travelled with the Clondalkin Youth Band. The keen Gaelgeoir hopes to make a career in radio or television.

Her prize includes a VIP package for Ladies Day next Friday as the new queen of the Punchestown National Hunt festival.

TV3 weatherman Martin King hosted the night, and the judges included Brian Purcell of the Apprentice, Shane Keegan of the Leinster Leader, Cillian Whelan of KFM, Nicola McGeady of Boylesports, Castledermot girl Rachael Kane of the Star and Claire McCreevy, daughter of former EU commissioner Charlie.

However, celebrity judges, models Glenda Gilson and Georgia Salpa, couldn’t attend at the last minute. Glenda was away and Georgia was called to the Late Late Show to make an appearance in a copy of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress.

“We had 14 fantastic girls taking part in the competition, and it all went smoothly on the night,” said organiser Maureen Catterson. A Punchestown Preview, featuring top jockeys and tipsters, was due to take place in the Court Hotel last night, with all proceeds also going to Motor Neurone Disease. Last year’s events raised around E10,000, and the organisers hope to top that this year.