Buncrana woman Grainne Gallanagh has won the title of Miss Universe Ireland 2018.
The London-based nurse was chosen as this year’s winner at a glamorous ceremony tonight in the Mansion House in Dublin.
Grainne (23) was presented with the emerald-jewelled crown by reigning queen Cailín Ní Toibín following several rounds of competition.
Grainne proudly stood for women’s health issues in her campaign and shared her views on female empowerment throughout the journey.
She gave a strong response to the judges on the #MeToo movement in the final round. When asked how she would personally deal with unwanted advances, she said:
“I don’t think anybody has the right to touch your body without your consent.”
On the whole journey, Grainne said: “This experience has been absolutely amazing.
“All of the other contestants are fantastic, it’s so nice to get on so well with everyone and getting involved with charity work is something I’m very proud of.”
Grainne recently ran a 10K and donated the funds raised to support the Donegal Women’s Centre in Letterkenny.
As the new Miss Universe Ireland, Grainne will serve as a goodwill Ambassador of Ireland at Miss Universe 2018. As a former Miss Donegal 2016 and a Miss Earth NI runner-up, Grainne has a wealth of experience in pageants and will surely relish the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Three young Donegal women represented the county in this year’s final.
Niamh Frain from Letterkenny, Emma Roarty from Dunlewey and Grainne Gallanagh from Buncrana all competed as Miss Letterkenny, Miss Donegal and Miss Gaeltacht respectively.
The young women were resplendent on the stage and never lost their smiles throughout the entire evening.
Makeup Artist Niamh Frain and Grainne Gallanagh were advanced to the Top 10 finalists, with Grainne going forth to the Top 5.
When interviewed by the hosts – pageant director Brittany Mason and TV personality James Patrice,Niamh said her best moments were: “Getting to know myself and growing as a person and getting to know the other women.
“It’s been incredible. It’s been an amazing journey,” Niamh added.