As we celebrate International Women’s Day today, we remember the inspirational women in our village. And no-one deserves more recognition, and thanks, than our very own Emma McLaughlin.

Mary Rose and Emma 2009

A native of Muff and living in nearby Moville, Emma managed a full-time career and gave 100%+ year after year since 2006 in helping organise our village festival. In 2009, she proudly sat beside her mother, Mary Rose, and it was the love her Mum had for our village that inspired Emma to become actively involved also.

Emma’s mother was a very strong advocate for the community here in Muff. She gave the festival everything she possibly could. Emma continued this after the sad passing of her Mum in 2010. Mary Rose was never far from every plan Emma made for festivals here in Muff. Both Emma and her mother will remain as strong women whom we will all aspire to look up to, and learn from.

Although the festival wasn’t able to take place over the past two years owing to the covid pandemic, Emma was never far from the organising and developing of plans for when the pandemic was over. However, earlier this year Emma decided it was time to step aside and let someone new take over the helm of the Muff Festival. She felt she had given it everything she had to give. And so she made the very brave and difficult decision to leave the Muff Festival committee.

Emma has been an advocate for our village. She has been actively involved and really did ensure that the community had a summer festival to look forward to, and to enjoy every year. I’m sure everyone has a fun Muff Festival memory.

Emma McLaughlin

I personally know how much work this lady put into the village and its festival. Even in the middle of the year when one assumed there was no need to be doing anything towards the summer, Emma would have been sat at her kitchen table after a long day in the office, either settling accounts, or sending out emails, or making contacts for the next festival. For Emma it wasn’t a weekend each year, it was constant throughout the year. We, the inhabitants of the village only saw the results; we never did see the sheer hard work that Emma continually put in.

So as today we celebrate International Women’s Day 2022, it’s important we don’t forget the impact that certain women have had in our lives. And even if you don’t know Emma personally, she has played a part in your life if you’ve visited the Muff Festival over the past 15 or so years. If you just walked around the festival field on the Sunday of the festival, then that was because Emma made sure it happened. If you took part in the opening parade of a Muff Festival, that was because Emma made it happen. If you threw a horse shoe, ran a race, dressed up in fancy dress, then all that was because of the dedication and hard work which Emma put in to ensure it all happened.

Alongside her team of volunteers, Emma McLaughlin carried on the legacy of her mother. It is now her legacy to pass on to the next team of volunteers who will take over the Muff Festival.

On this International Women’s Day let’s all take time to just say a word or ‘thanks’ to Emma McLaughlin for all she has done for our village. It really hasn’t gone unnoticed. We also remember her wonderful Mum, Mary Rose today too.

Emma we wish you every success with your own life as you move forward. We all look forward to seeing you in the village and at more Muff Festival events as we go forward. Thank you Emma for your time, your vision, your dedication, and your passion. You really are an inspiration.