Seán is the best in the West

By Francesca Ryan

The Mr West Belfast crown will sit on the head of Seán Loughran for the next year after the Turf Lodge lad wowed the crowds at the competition final at the weekend.

Almost one thousand people were packed into the grand ballroom of the Emerald Roadhouse on Saturday night for one of the most memorable nights West Belfast has seen in a long time.

The contest, which is the concept of the Rock Bar on the Falls Road, was held over a period of five weeks, with each heat taking place in the Rock.

The judges for the final were UTV personality Frank Mitchell, model Jenna G, Rock Bar and Fáilte Restaurant owner Gerry Carlile, Big Brother contestant Orlaith McAllister and Celtic star Niall McGinn.

All eight finalists were worthy of the prestigious title, but it was 26-year-old Sean who won out in the end.

His performance of Robbie Williams’ ‘Let Me Entertain You’ was a winner, but when he took to the stage in spandex for Eric Prydz’s ‘Call On Me’, his first place was assured.  And to keep the audience pleased, the local lifeguard even did a rendition of Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies’ with help from his two leotard-clad pals, Ciarán Muir and Christopher Baggley.

“I didn’t expect to win,” Seán told the Andersonstown News. “I had good support, though. I had loads of family and friends there.  I really want to thank my friends Christopher and Ciarán, they put me forward for the competition and I did it for a laugh, but we had some great craic and really enjoyed it. They are great friends and have been really brilliant support since Christmas when I was going through a bad time. It meant a lot to me, so I’m glad I won it for them. I’m looking forward to my year as Mr West Belfast and I hope I will do the district proud.”

Seán won £1,000, a tailor-made suit from Shanghai Tailoring on the Lisburn Road and tickets for a Celtic v Rangers  Glasgow derby.

The Rock Bar’s Gerry Carlile says Seán will be a great ambassador for West Belfast.

“This competition is about showing the great character of West Belfast and the positivity in its people, it was good, clean fun and was a fine advertisement for the area.

“Seán’s performances on Saturday night were outstanding and I’m certain he will be a great ambassador for West Belfast.

“I have to say any one of the eight finalists would have been a worthy winner, they are all great guys and each contestant deserves great credit.

“I want to thank everyone in the audience who created a special atmosphere: the host Anto McStravick, the DJ Michael O’Callaghan and the judges for their excellent contribution, and particularly the contestants for making this a night to remember.”

Seán will hold on to the title until next summer when the lads from the West will take to the catwalk for the already much-anticipated 2012 contest.

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