A FALCARRAGH teen will be the only North West representative at this year’s Miss Universe Ireland final heat in Dublin at the end of the month.
Roisin Gallagher, 18, is set to travel to Dublin as she competes against 29 of Ireland’s finest ladies.
Roisin, an aspiring make up artist, was head hunted by the CEO of Miss Universe Ireland, and was asked to come down to Dublin for an interview.
The former Pobalscoil Chloich Cheannfhaola student was crowned Little Miss Mary when she was eleven years old; the start of her pageantry career.
She went on to win the Donohoue Studio Portrait award in later years, which lead to being spotted by Styles Academy, a modelling company in Belfast. In May of this year, she entered Miss Donegal.
“This all came about when I entered Miss Donegal earlier in the year. I loved the idea of pageantry, but the fear of it always kept me back. I hated losing, so in my mind I thought ‘Don’t participate, don’t lose, eh?’
“But I ended up taking the plunge and going for Miss Donegal. In the end, I really enjoyed it and I wasn’t all that bothered about not winning. I had a great time and met some lovely girls out of it.
“I realised it’s really not all about winning, it’s so much fun to just take part and come out of your comfort zone.”
The young woman will be the only contestant from the North West. After being contacted by the CEO, Britanny Manson, Roisin completed her application and was shocked when she heard back from them.
“The application process was pretty easy, you just talked about yourself, interests and a couple of photos. Then, you were asked if you were crowned Miss Universe, what would you change?
“This question was super easy for an animal lover like me, and I immediately went on a rant about the disgraceful breeding laws in Ireland and how Ireland is now the puppy farm capital of Europe.
“If I was to win Miss Universe Ireland, this would be first campaign.”
While Roisin isn’t a professional model, 27 out of the 30 contestants are, and competing against them for the crown could seem daunting. However the young woman remains determined to give it her best shot.
“I hadn’t always wanted to be Miss Universe, just due to the fact of only opening my eyes to the pageantry world this year. But I did always want to do modelling and make a career out of it.
“Miss Universe would be a great platform to get recognised and I love photography and everything that’s involved with it.
“I would absolutely love to represent Ireland at the international pageant if I got through; it would really help my career but it would also be the experience of a life time.”
While Roisin prepares for next week’s final, she has been maintaining a healthy diet to ensure her skin and her figure is in tip top condition for the bright lights on stage. She acknowledges Miss Universe Ireland is expected to be a role model, and she is starting as she means to go on.
While she is both nervous and excited, she remains humble and thanked everyone around her for all their support.
“My friends and family have been so supportive, without them I probably wouldn’t go for these things, and try to chase my dreams.
“I can’t thank anyone more than my mum, she’s really my number one fan, and when I don’t win at something, it breaks her heart more than mine.”
If Roisin wins the Irish heat, she will be the second Irish placement ever at the Miss Universe final, following Rozanna Purcell in 2010; representing Ireland on a global scale.
While there was no pageant last year, Derry girl, Joanna Cooper, won in 2015, but went on to be unplaced at the international pageant.
The final will take place in the Mansion House, Dublin on Thursday August 31.
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