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PICS: Meet this year’s Miss Ireland finalists

33 girls are vying for the crown this year

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Brian McEvoy  

This year’s Miss Ireland finalist’s stepped out in their county colours, ahead of this weekend’s Miss Ireland Final.

33 stunning finalists will take to the stage at The Helix this Saturday, September 14, in a bid to win the coveted title of Miss Ireland 2019 – and a place representing Ireland at the Miss World contest.

This year marks the 72nd Miss Ireland, and this year’s theme is ‘TRAVEL’. Guests will be taken on a journey across the world in a spectacular choreographed show in The Mahony Hall.

This will be followed by a gala black-tie dinner in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Northwood.

Brian McEvoy

The entire evening will be hosted by presenter and stylist Brendan Marc Scully and former Miss Irelan Aoife Walsh, who will be flying in from New York especially for the event.

Such a prestigious contest requires a top panel of judges, and the people with the difficult task of selecting the 72nd Miss Ireland include beauty entrepreneur Suzanne Jackson, current Mr Ireland Wayne Walsh, who recently placed top 12 at Mr World, top International stylist Sonja Molich, and former Miss Ireland and aesthetics clinic owner Rebecca Maguire.

The current Miss Ireland, Aoife O’Sullivan from Cork, has had a whirlwind year travelling the world and embracing the opportunities which the title opened up for her.

She will be passing over the iconic diamond and emerald crown, which has been in place since 2008, and is looking forward to mentoring the 2019 winner.

Meet all of this year’s finalists below:

Miss Cavan – Jillian Clarke

Miss Cavan Jillian Clarke | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Jillian Clarke, I’m 24 years old and from Ross, Mountnugent, Co.Cavan.

I studied Fashion Design in Griffith College and I’m currently working as a designer in a Wholesale Fashion Company.

Besides being creative, I would consider myself bubbly and friendly. I’m a dog lover and chocoholic as well and also love all things fashion. I enjoy keeping fit in the gym and scenic walks.

I believe it’s best to ‘Just be Yourself’ because we are all unique so we should enjoy every moment.”

Miss Carlow South – Saoirse Byrne

Miss Carlow South Saoirse Byrne | Brian McEvoy

“Hi I’m Saoirse Byrne and I’m 18-years-old. I’m from County Carlow.

In June I completed my leaving cert in Presentation De La Salle Bagenalstown, I have a passion for art and I’m hoping to pursue a career as a secondary school art teacher, and possibly also work in fashion design as I have a huge interest in fashion.

I love horse-riding, Taekwondo and walking, I find all three activities great for the mind. Recently I’ve developed a keen interest in sound therapy, meditation and mindfulness, which I feel is so important for everyone’s wellbeing.” 

Miss Derry – Zara Campbell

Miss Derry Zara Campbell | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Zara Campbell, I am 19 years old and I am the current Miss Derry 2019.

I work as a receptionist at the award winning Elite Aesthetic Treatment Clinic and am beginning full time studies in September to become a Paediatric Nurse, to help the children that will lead our future!

One of my main hobbies is weight lifting believe it or not! My father is a renowned personal trainer in our town, so I can count myself lucky!

I am an extremely hard worker who takes pride in interacting with the public and having the platform to put into effect positive change in my city.”

Miss Dublin South – Chloe O’Loughlin

Miss Dublin South Chloe O’Loughlin | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Chloe O’Loughlin. I’m 20 years old from Dublin. I’m currently heading into my third year studying computer science. I work part-time in Hollister Dundrum and I also have a passion for make-up.

I am a huge animal lover and I have two dogs, Ruby and Tia. I also have a rescue cat named Bonnie that I got from the DSPCA, where I have previously volunteered. I also love horseriding and showjumping.

I entered Miss Ireland not only for myself, but for people very close to my heart. I want to raise awareness about childhood cancer, and I plan to use my platform as Miss Dublin South to do so.”

Miss Kilkenny South – Sara Canning

Miss Kilkenny South Sara Canning | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Sara Canning. I am 21 years old. I am in my third year studying Early Childhood Care and Education in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.

I enjoy working with children and I think it is so rewarding to see the positive differences we can make in the lives of the young people that we work with.

I live in a small, picturesque village called Graignamanagh in the South of Kilkenny where I enjoy working closely with my local community.

My favourite hobby is Irish dancing which I began when I was four years old and has loved ever since.”

Miss Tipperary South -  Bailey Gavin

Miss Tipperary South Bailey Gavin | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Bailey Gavin. I am 20 years old and live in Cashel, Co. Tipperary. I am going into my second year of college studying TV, Radio and New Media in the Institute of Technology, Tralee and hope to eventually work in this field.

I lived in Dubai for 8 years and believe having lived abroad for so long, and travelling constantly, I have already represented not only Tipperary but Ireland on an international stage.

I have a bubbly and outgoing personality and believe I carry a lot of the qualities Miss Ireland should have.”

Miss Westmeath – Margaret Bolton

Miss Westmeath Margaret Bolton | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Margaret Bolton,  I’m 24-years old. I’m currently working, but hoping to start studying criminal psychology, and become a criminal profiler.

Along with studying I also have ambitions to start my own business in the near future. My hobbies include weightlifting, baking, hiking and spending time with my dogs.

I’m also hoping to travel more. South Africa is one of my dream destinations as I would like to track down long lost family.”

Miss Wexford – Christine Mangan

Miss Wexford Christine Mangan | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Christine Mangan, I am 26-years old and I am from Gorey, Co. Wexford. I got my Honours BA in English and Geography from UCD.

I then went to work for Emirates airline as a member of their cabin crew. I lived in Dubai for three and a half years while working there and travelled to over 100 destinations in 63 countries.

Travel is one of my biggest passions and I am delighted I had the opportunity to travel as part of my work. I am thrilled to be starting back with my studies in September in UCD on a business course.”

Miss Cork – Sorcha McKeown

Miss Cork Sorcha McKeown | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Sorcha McKeown. I’m 21-years old and from Cobh. I’m a law student and currently completing my undergraduate degree at Maynooth University.

I work part time in a traditional Irish craft centre and enjoy welcoming tourists and discussing Irish heritage and culture with them. My interests include camogie and mountain climbing.

Last year I raised over €8,000 for Pieta House with my “12 Peaks for Pieta” campaign, where I climbed a different mountain every month.

Using the Miss Ireland platform I’m hoping to raise awareness of the importance of looking after mental health and keeping active.”

Miss Dublin Central  – Bronwyn O’Connell

Miss Dublin Central Bronwyn O’Connell | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Bronwyn O’Connell I am 25 years of age. I completed my leaving cert in 2013 in St. Domonics College, Cabra. I then completed a marketing diploma in DBS and worked part time in a local restaurant in my area.

I have been happily working with Aer Lingus for the past four years. I love to travel and my job has given me such an amazing opportunity to visit different countries and experience new cultures.

The work can be very rewarding as not only do we get our passengers from A to B but we can also be nurses, or even counsellors.

Not every one is going on holidays when they step onto a plane. Recently we brought a gentleman home to die. It was heartbreaking but I know I did my best to look after him and make his journey as easy as possible.

In my spare time I love going to Pilates as it really helps me clear my head. I also love going to the races for ladies  day as  I adore fashion. In my spare time I volunteer with the homeless doing things such as making sandwiches and handing the food out.”

Miss Down – Rebecca Leahy

Miss Down Rebecca Leahy | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Rebecca Leahy, I’m 25 years old and from Ballynahinch. I am a Primary School teacher and I teach Primary 5 in Ballynahinch Primary School. 

I’ve really enjoyed my journey in the Miss Ireland competition.  I really aspire to make a difference in Ireland, in terms of the charity work that I am involved in, particularly charity work with children.

I am currently involved with a charity called ‘Down’s and Proud’ which is a charity that supports children with Down’s Syndrome. 

I feel that the Miss Ireland competition will help me to pursue this ambition through the ethos of ‘Beauty with a Purpose’.”

Miss Kildare – Naomi Molloy

Miss Kildare Naomi Molloy | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Naomi Molloy, I am 23 years of age. I am originally from Co Donegal, however I currently live and work in Co Kildare. 

I studied Food Science and Business Management in St Angela’s College in Sligo and graduated in 2017. I currently work in Sales for O’Brien Fine Foods in Naas.

I have used my Miss Kildare platform to increase awareness of mental health issues in Ireland, trying to reduce the stubborn stigma that comes with it.

The big message I am trying to get across is its okay not to be okay. And that there is support out there; you do not have to be alone.”

Miss Dublin North – Megan Hurley

Miss Dublin North Megan Hurley | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Megan Hurley, I am 19 years old and from Sutton. I currently work with SPIN 1038, 98FM and Verve Marketing and thoroughly enjoy the process involved in building, developing and maintaining client relationships.

I completed a Business degree in Blackrock Further Education this year and I am thrilled to have been offered a place on a four year Business and Marketing degree.

I am very passionate about giving back to the community, and have been working voluntarily with Breast Cancer Ireland for almost four years.

I also do what I can, when I can for Pieta House. Both charities are incredibly close to my heart and I am very proud to support them.”

Miss Roscommon – Luchia Noyes

Miss Roscommon Lushica Noyes | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Luchia Noyes. I am 27 years old and I work in Film and TV which I studied in college in Galway. I was born in Dublin and grew up in County Clare in a family of six. 

I split my time between Ireland and Australia for work and love spending time at home. My goal is to buy a house in Ireland and make this my permanent base. 

I have a suicide prevention campaign and am very proactive and passionate about raising awareness for mental health and suicide.”

Miss Waterford – Katie Keogh

Miss Waterford Katie Keogh | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Katie Keogh. I’m 18-years old and I am from the beautiful village of Kilmeaden.  I have just finished my Leaving Certificate in St. Declan’s in Kilmacthomas.

My main interests are fashion and beauty and in the near future my goal is to study hairdressing and fashion.”

Miss Wicklow – Dara Byrne

Miss Wicklow Dara Byrne | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Dara Byrne, I am 23-years old and I have lived in Ballinaclash, County Wicklow all of my life.

I commuted to UCD to complete my undergraduate degree in English and Geography. Continuing with my studies in UCD I am now in my final year of the Professional Masters in Education.

I am currently completing my placement as a secondary school teacher. I am the class rep for my course and have had great fun getting involved with college and ensuring everything runs smoothly for the students and lecturers alike. 

Camogie and sport in general is a big part of my family life and most of us play or have played at some stage.”

Miss Dublin West – Laura Doyle

Miss Dublin West Laura Doyle | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Laura Doyle. I’m 22 years old and from Walkinstown. I currently work as a salon co-ordinator at Peter Mark.

I studied music in Ballyfermot College of Further Education in 2016and during that time I also appeared as a contestant on The Voice of Ireland – making it to the live shows.

I am currently learning sign language and I like to use it to interpret the songs that I sing. I am having a great memorable experience in Miss Ireland so far and I am hoping I can continue my journey, by representing Ireland on a worldwide stage, in this year’s Miss World.

I have been using the platform of the competition to raise awareness for the problems, we as a country face but I never fail to highlight the beautiful things about the country we live in.”

Miss Carlow – Natalia Nykiel

Miss Carlow Natalia Nykiel | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Natalia Nykiel. I’m 17 years old and I’m a student. I live in Carlow with my family.

I would describe myself as an energetic person and I look at things in a positive way. I’m very determined and passionate and I put my best effort into the things I do.

I’m also a simple person with clear ambitions which include contributing to our society, finishing my studies and getting a job that motivates me and makes me happy.”

Miss Louth – Chelsea Farrell

Miss Louth Chelsea Farrell | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Chelsea Farrell. I am 19 years old and I am from Ardee Co. Louth. I have just started to study Midwifery in DKIT. This was my career choice from a young age and I am so excited to get started.

I’ve always had a passion for the stage. I am a dancer and a singer, and even did a bit of acting over the years,

Personality wise I am a very determined person and I love a good challenge. I love the idea of being a role model and I do everything I can to be just that, whether through social media, in person or charity work.

I love helping others and would always put other people before myself, which is why I know nursing is the job for me. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to participate in Miss Ireland and I am so excited for the road ahead.”

Miss Donegal – Holly McCrea

Miss Donegal Holly McCrea | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Holly McCrea. I am 23 years old and I am from Donegal Town. I am the fourth eldest in family of 8 children. My family run a Bed & Breakfast.

I graduated with a first class honours Bachelor of Education degree in Home Economics and Biology from St. Angela’s College, Sligo in 2018 and I am now a secondary school teacher working in my old school.

I teach Home Economics, Biology and Science. I absolutely love all things fashion and beauty related. I also have a passion for travelling and have many more places still to tick off my bucket list!”

Miss Kerry – Desiree Fitzgerald

Miss Kerry Desiree Fitzgerald | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Desiree Fitzgerald. I’m 19-years of age and I’m from Tralee, I’ve two sisters and one brother and I get on great with them.

I’m just about to start studying Childcare Montessori in Kerry College of Further Education. I love being around children and them want to make a career out of helping them.

My friends would describe me as genuine, easy going, a good listener and a funny person. I’d love to travel the world after I finish my course as it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

“I love shopping and makeup. I enjoy taking my dogs for walks, meeting friends and fishing with my dad.”

Miss Kilkenny – Emma McEvoy

Miss Kilkenny Emma McEvoy | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Emma McEvoy. I am 20 years old, and I am from Lisdowney, Co. Kilkenny. I am the eldest of three children with two younger brothers, Martin and Eibhan.

My parents are Tom and Elaine McEvoy. I am currently going into my second year studying General Nursing in Trinity College Dublin.

I enjoy cooking and swimming and I hope to complete lifeguard training. When I graduate I want to travel around the world and work in Australia for a few years before coming back home to specialise as a cardiac nurse.”

Miss Laois – Michelle Murphy

Miss Laois Michelle Murphy | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Michelle Murphy, I’m 20-years old and I live in Carlow. I was born in Portlaoise, and spent a lot of my childhood with my family in Clonaslee.

I’m currently working full time in Scrumdiddlys, an ice cream franchise, in Kilkenny.

I hope to study either Agriculture or Nutrition in college in the coming years. I am so honoured to be representing not only my home county in the final, but also my current home Carlow.

I can’t wait for the coming year as Miss Laois, in which I will do all I can for my beautiful county.”

Miss Letterkenny – Anna Gallagher

Miss Letterkenny Anna Gallagher | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Anna Gallagher, I am 21 years old. I live in Letterkenny with my family. I graduated from Maynooth University with an arts degree, having studied geography and sociology.

I intend to work this year, and the year after I plan to do my Masters to enable me to  become a second level teacher. Currently I work part time in my local Spar, and in my spare time I enjoy coaching ladies football with my local GAA club.

I am a strong believer that participation in sport is a great way of looking after your physical and mental health and also a great way for young people to make new friends.”

Miss Tipperary – Kirsty Downey

Miss Tipperary Kirsty Downey | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Kirsty Downey. I’m 23 years old and I’m from Cahir in County Tipperary.

I have recently completed my Honours Degree in International Business, and I have recently been accepted to study at University of Limerick to study my Masters of Science in Marketing – but I have since decided to defer it for the year in order to get experience working in the real world first. 

I am currently working as a Team Lead Manager in Charlotte Tilbury Beauty in Brown Thomas Limerick.  

I absolutely love spending time with family and friends, playing sport and going off on hiking adventures with my family and friends across Irelands most well known outdoor venues. I consider myself to be very motivated, self determined and focused.”

Miss Meath – Aine O’Connor

Miss Meath Aine O’Connor | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Aine O’Connor. I’m going into my second year as a retail student in TUD Aungier Street and am really enjoying my course. I am also a bar lady and waitress at Peters Pub in Dunshaughlin.

My hobbies include up-styling  and altering old clothes as I am interested in sustainable fashion and like to make small choices that are environmentally friendly. My dream is to own my own stores.

I am very energetic and sporty I love to keep fit by playing camogie. I have a competitive streak and I’m confident in myself, I know that I try my best in everything I do.

I love event planning and this contest gives me a platform to plan events for good causes which I love.”

Miss Limerick North – Christina Alcazar Deverell

Miss Limerick North Christina Alcarza | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Christina Alcazar Deverell. I’m 20-years old from Castleconnell, Co. Limerick. I’m half Spanish as my dad is from Spain. I’m currently studying Journalism and New Media in the University of Limerick, which I absolutely love!

My ambition is to eventually write for a fashion magazine or work in PR for a fashion or beauty brand.

Singing has also been one of my passions since a very young age, so I would love to pursue that as well.

If I was to win Miss Ireland, I would absolutely love to use the platform to become an ambassador for anti-bullying and mental health charities. I think it’s important to educate kids about their mental well-being from a young age, giving them coping skills to help them if they ever were to suffer with mental health issues.”

Miss Tipperary West – Ciara Conman

Miss Tipperary West Ciara Conman | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Ciara Coman. I’m 19 and from Kilfeacle in Tipperary.  I’m about to start my second year studying commerce in UCC.

I absolutely love my course – particularly the law modules. I would love to do something law related after graduating.

I currently work in The Bakehouse, which is a café in Cashel.

I have a massive interest in fashion and I’m loving getting dressed up for the Miss Ireland events. It’s so much fun and I think it’s so good for your confidence!”

Miss Dublin City – Sophie Kelly

Miss Dublin City Sophie Kelly | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Sophie Kelly. I am 21 years old and I am from Howth, Co. Dublin. Along with my part-time work as a Receptionist and Administrator at a busy salon in Dublin City, I am also a Fashion Brand Ambassador for Boohoo.com. 

Recently, I have completed a two-year Diploma course in Event Management and, as part of my college work I assisted in running a number of charity events for the Peter McVerry Trust and The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust.  

I have also modelled on the catwalk for Pieta House. These experiences ignited a passion for charity work and I hope in the future to become an ambassador for a charity close to my heart.

Being 21, I love doing the usual fun stuff but I also really hope to travel and explore the world.”

Miss Galway – Emma Healy

Miss Galway Emma Healy | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Emma Healy. I’m 19 years old. I am from Galway City but currently living just outside the city.

I have just finished my first year studying hairdressing and barbering and am currently working in Dunnes Stores.

I enjoy doing hair and makeup and I would love to start my own business in the future. I also enjoy going to the gym and listening to music.”

Miss Cork City – Niamh Coughlan

Miss Cork City Niamh Coughlan | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Niamh Coughlan. I am twenty years old and I am entering my second year studying for my undergraduate degree in French and History of Art in UCC.

I have a strong passion for languages and art so I am thoroughly enjoying it. I also work part-time as floor staff in Supervalu, I have been working there for just over a year now.

I enjoy engaging with customers and the job itself is quite active which I like. My hobbies include keeping fit, travelling, fashion and anything creative.

Travelling abroad to look at art is definitely something I love to do, as it combines my interests in both languages and art. So far my Miss Ireland experience has been a dream come true.”

Miss Limerick – Ciara O’Halloran

Miss Limerick Ciara O’Halloran | Brian McEvoy

“Hi my name is Ciara O’Halloran. I am 23 and originally from Raheen in Limerick. I have just graduated from the University of Limerick with an Engineering degree.

I have always had a strong passion for sport. I have represented my country in basketball at underage level and also played tag rugby at senior level.

I am currently playing with the Munster Rugby Senior Women’s team for this year’s interprovincial series.

Both my aunt and Grandmother held the Miss Limerick title in 1990 and 1963 respectively and it means so much to me and my family to compete at this years Miss Ireland.”

Miss Clare – Emma Austin

Miss Clare Emma Austin | Brian McEvoy

“My name is Emma Austin and I’m from Shannon Co. Clare. I’m a 20 year old Social Care student at Limerick Institute of Technology and I have worked in a resource centre in the youth department as an after school worker and summer camp leader.

I am passionate about traditional Irish music and have been playing the flute for nearly 10 years. For the past three years I have also been a volunteer, working alongside some amazing charities around Munster.

I want to use my platform as Miss Clare to work with local charities along with trying to promote the importance of volunteering and giving something back to your local community.”