She is a talented singer, a stunning model and an ambitious young woman – but why is our Miss Goss.ie Colleen O’Reilly deserving of the Miss Ireland title?
Taking place in the Crown Plaza Hotel on Friday 23rd, Colleen will compete with dozens of beauty queens for the coveted Miss Ireland Crown.
Colleen’s charm and beauty helped her land her Miss Goss.ie title, but it was her love of helping others and her charity work that pushed her across the line.
At this year’s Miss Ireland comeptition there will be a new talent round, and after working with the likes of The Script, Westlife and The Coronas, Colleen’s voice will stop people in their tracks.
As well as her beautya and talent, the 23-year-old has a deep passion for her charity work and strives to be a role-model for all young girls out there.
Beauty Queen: Our Miss Goss.ie | EVAN DOHERTY
In an exclusive new shoot with top celebrity photographer Evan Doherty, Colleen showed off her inner beauty queen and opened up about her journey so far.
Are you getting excited for the Miss Ireland finale?
I can’t wait! It’s ten days away today – it’s crazy. To be honest, I’m working with Beauty With A Purpose at the moment which would be my charity project.
As I mentioned at the Miss Goss.ie Heat that I wanted to work with a charity that actually meant a lot to me and my family which is Soft Ireland. It’s a charity for babies with Trisomy 13 and Trisomy 18. I’ve done a lot of work with them on my final event which is on Friday from 9.30am until 12pm noon.
I have a coffee morning in a restaurant called Eco down in Gorey, Wexford. I’m just getting stuck into that at the moment. That’s my top priority right now that I get as must funds for that as possible. Then I’ll settle down and relax a bit more, do the fun girly stuff!
Why did you apply for Miss Goss.ie?
I had entered Miss Ireland last year and I represented Miss Dublin West. I had the most amazing experience and I really enjoyed it.
Striking: Colleen wearing a floor length blue gown from Starla | EVAN DOHERTY
My friends had actually entered me into the competition last year! I didn’t really expect it and felt I learned a lot from it.
So when that finished, I couldn’t wait to enter again. As soon as I saw Goss.ie had a heat I thought “Oh my God I have to enter.” I took a lot of the lessons I learned from last year and bring it forward representing Goss.ie in the final.
What would you do if you won Miss Ireland?
I would like to be a role model for girls everywhere. I know that I’m not the tallest girl in the competition but I would like to show girls who are my height that you can do Miss Ireland anyway.
I have gotten so many amazing modelling experiences from entering this competition alone and I would love to be a role model for younger girls out there to see that it is doable and you definitely can do it.
I would also want to use it as a platform for working with smaller charities.
You’re also a musician as well as a model. Tell us more about that…
I’m a singer by trade. I’m a jazz singer, I also do a lot of session work too.
Crown Princess: Colleen is also a talented jazz singer | EVAN DOHERTY
I’ve worked with some amazing musicians and bands over the years like The Coronas, The Script, Westlife, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Crowded House, The Lumineers and Brian O’Shaughnessy.
I’ve also got to do a bit of work on The Late Late Show and a few different RTE shows over the years. I’ve gotten to do some tours and last year I was living in France singing over there. All of that stuff has been an amazing experience.
I’ve also a cover band at the moment so I do that then on the weekends. So if anyone wants to see me, I play on Dame Street at The Front Door Bar.
What was it like working with huge Irish bands like The Script, The Coronas and Westlife?
It was an amazing experience! Westlife was one of my first ones, I was only a kid but that was fun. The Script and The Coronas are lovely guys, they really are.
Singing: Colleen has worked with big stars | EVAN DOHERTY
Absolute pleasure to work with them! They’re both really easy to get along with and so down to earth. They really boosted my confidence as a singer. I did two different live performances with the two bands.
I would have been hired in as a session singer for backing vocals. The first time when I worked with The Script I was only 18 – I was absolutely terrified! But it was a lot of fun. I’d love to do it again so hopefully they’ll give me a call in the future but we’ll see.
What are your life aspirations?
A fun job that i would love to get into TV presenting – it would be a dream job! I had a bit of experience this year training a little bit for a showreel and I really enjoyed it. I love to perform and I’ve been singing since I was tiny.
Teaching: Colleen would love to do music therapy | EVAN DOHERTY
I also teach in a performing arts school here in Dublin – that’s my other job. I also just graduated there from Dublin Music College so I’m a qualified teacher.
One career aspiration I’d love to do in the long run would be to be a music therapist which will take a couple of years of masters work.
What sparked your interest in those two roles?
With music therapy, I’ve always loved music and it’s something that I spoke about before. At one of my Beauty With A Purpose events, I spoke at the MiMind event. It was terrifying speaking at it as I had never done any public speaking before but I really enjoyed it.
I spoke about the benefits of music therapy for anyone suffering from stress and anxiety. I worked alongside music therapists since I was small and I’ve seen the benefits – it’s absolutely fantastic. To be able to tie that in with something I love like singing and music is just the dream job, really.
Stunning: Colleen will strut her stuff at Miss Ireland | EVAN DOHERTY
Regarding TV presenting, last year’s Miss Ireland finalists went down to Westport as part of the group challenge and when we were down there, we got a surprise challenge of going to audition to present at Irish TV. I really enjoyed it and I didn’t realise how much I loved it until I actually took part in it. Following the competition, I contacted a few different places and I got some experience. I’m starting a little showreel but it’s definitely something I want to do in the future!
How was speaking at the MiMind 2016 event (focusing on mental health issues)?
That experience was incredible. It was extremely daunting. Ironically I was speaking about anxiety and I definitely felt it on the night. I was so scared going on stage, I was the first person to speak.
There were about 300 people there but the audience were very supportive and they were cheering me on. It was great but I really wanted to get across the message that it’s okay not to feel okay. It’s perfectly okay to ask for help and I think that’s a really important message to spread.
What would be your advice for girls who want to go for Miss Ireland?
Just go for it! As cheesy as it is, you do only live once. At the end of the day, what’s the point in not trying some experiences like this? I have made so many friends from this competition, I’ve met so many incredible people, I’ve really matured and really grown up I’ve worked with some amazing charities.
Journey: Colleen beat dozens of girls | EVAN DOHERTY
It really is a great experience and something you will look back on thinking ‘What an amazing experience’. Just be yourself – again it sounds cheesy but really just be yourself! For the Miss Goss.ie heat I went in there and I was just myself.
I really enjoyed myself and mingling with the other girls and judges. I think they can tell if someone is comfortable in their own skin and natural. Be yourself because that’s what’s going to shine through.
Photos by: Evan Doherty
Makeup by: Sharleen Collins – MyPucker.com
Hair by: Sarah Cullen – MyPucker.com
Clothes and Jewellery by: Starla Dresses