Falcarragh makeup artist and sportswoman Roisin Gallagher is ready to rise with the opportunities to come from Miss Universe Ireland 2017.
Roisin, aged 18, is no stranger to beauty pageants, but Miss Universe is looking for more from the finalists than looks this year.
The competition is having a shake up for 2017 under new management, and Roisin is preparing to share her views on current issues while enjoying herself in the national final tonight (Thursday).
She has been basing her campaign on her passions for animal welfare and the support of women in sport.
“I was extremely excited to be in the final, but also nervous because I feel slightly unprepared, but I’m looking forward to a night full of fun and to feel like a princess with 29 other princesses,” she tells Donegal Woman.
Roisin is full of hope that whether she wins or not, something great will come of the event.
“I might not win, but maybe job opportunities, you never know, that’s why it’s so important to jump at any opportunity that comes your way,” she said.
Roisin found the Miss Universe Ireland pageant after some late-night googling. She applied with plenty of experience at her back. She has been Little Miss Mary 2006, winner of the Donohue Studio Portrait Award also in 2006, and earlier this year she was a contestant in Miss Donegal.
Career and ambition, charities and current issues have become important elements of Miss Universe, and Roisin believes she ticks all the boxes.
“They want to see a pretty face with a brain. Ambitious, driven ladies is what they would want and that’s exactly what I am!”
“I am only 18, and I am on a career path not many girls my age are. Every girl in this competition has done a charity event at one stage or another, and this just shows how much the 30 contestants genuinely care about others and put their beauty to power,” she said.
Blending beauty and ambition, Roisin is looking to expand her makeup career and build on her qualifications.
“I’m not ready to reveal plans as I haven’t everything in order for the 100% go ahead, but exciting things are happening in my life and at my age, I’m so blessed to come this far early in my career.”
Under the new direction of Miss Universe, contestants have been taking part in live interviews and judging sessions quizzing them on current affairs and their stance on major issues.
“It is important us ladies understand current issues in Ireland, whether we already knew or this competition has opened our eyes to a thing or two, we all have an opinion and the judges will want to see us say our views on matters,” Roisin said.
Roisin is a passionate advocate for animals’ rights. She feels strongly about the need for more legislation banning puppy farming and the mistreatment of animals in Ireland. She focuses on small changes to make a big impact.
“I plan to do a fundraiser for Animals in Need Donegal coming up to Christmas, I held one last year for the Donegal Hospice! But I donate to every cause I can, and I am currently turning my makeup collection into completely vegan products. I feel like this will make a small help towards things, and I tell everyone about it.
“If I can encourage one person to do their research, and change their makeup products to vegan products, this can really make a big impact. These companies have put greed over morals, and only we the people can change this,” she said.
Roisin also feels strongly about the lack of support for ladies’ sports. She plays for Cloughaneely Ladies and hopes to emphasise the importance of women in sport.
“Girls playing sports is such a blissful thing! I love seeing strong women out doing what they love. The dedication ladies put in weekly to training, is really amazing and I never would have met these girls if I didn’t play sports.
“Support from your local area really changes the atmosphere in a game and women’s football is amazing! I love every kind of sports, I’ve done soccer, gaelic, basketball, athletics, gymnastics and Irish dancing in my small life time,” she said.
Roisin feels ready to take on the ambassadorial role that is Miss Universe Ireland.
“Miss Universe Ireland is going to be a role model for the women of Ireland. I would be supportive, caring but it’s important to stay humble, you need to remember where you started and who got you there”
“I would show everyone how generous the women of this country are and how much absolute craic we really are,” she said.
Miss Universe Ireland will be selected from 30 national finalists at an event on Thursday 31st August. As Roisin eagerly encourages people to take chances, Roisin is ready to seize this opportunity of a lifetime and to hopefully thrive in the coveted role.