An ambitious young Letterkenny woman is hoping to inspire more people her age to get involved in charity work.

Kirsty O’Donnell, aged 19, has put charity at the heart of her campaign to be Donegal’s next beauty queen.

Kirsty is one of 10 young women in the running for the title this year, as the competition moves online due to Covid-19. Voting has gone live for the countywide stage on the free Miss Ireland app.

The 10 Donegal finalists are: Chloe Freen, Donna Gavigan, Edel Mc Bride, Kirsty O’Donnell, Kirsty Mc Dyre, Lauren Flanagan, Layla Doherty, Natalie Sophia Slater, Nicole Harron and Yasmine Kelly.

Covid restrictions haven’t stopped Kirsty and her fellow finalists from thinking outside the box to fundraise for charities both locally and nationally.

Kirsty is currently studying nursing at LYIT while working part-time at Kelly’s Centra Mountain Top. Her Miss Donegal journey is sponsored by local businesswoman Aoibheann Walsh – G&G.

It’s been a ‘magical’ journey so far, says Kirsty.

“I am honoured to be representing my county as a Miss Donegal Finalist and I look forward to every step of the journey with such a fantastic group of girls,” she said.

Kirsty is focusing her charity efforts on supporting St.Vincent de Paul, where she previously worked, and the Donegal Hospice, while all participants are fundraising for Pieta House through a ‘getup2move’ sports challenge.

Kirsty said: “I believe that the Miss Donegal platform would be both a perfect opportunity for me to raise awareness for numerous charities and also to showcase the astonishing Donegal. I have taken part in Daffodil Day and Action Breast Cancer various years. I would love to get more young people involved in charity work.

“I am also running a fundraiser with my sponsor Aoibheann Walsh giving a prize away worth over €600. All you have to do to enter the competition is like and share the competition post on Aoibheann Walsh’s business pages on either Facebook or Instagram and donate to GoFundMe (visit the link here). The prize includes Phi brows -€300, a complete hair transformation -€200 and a one to one makeup lesson with Aoibheann -€100. The minimum donation is €5 and you are then entered into the draw to win the prize. I will be donating all the funds raised to a charity very close to my heart – Donegal Hospice. If you cannot donate we would love if you could like and share the link.”

Kirsty also enjoyed delivering Easter Eggs to the hospice this weekend in support of the healthcare staff she looks up to during her studies.

Kirsty O Donnell delivering Easter gifts to Donegal Hospice

She said: “I have always dreamed of becoming a nurse. I look up to all frontline healthcare workers and I aspire to be a caring nurse to the admirable people of Donegal one day. I believe all women can be both career driven, intelligent as well as being beautiful. I started working at 15 helping out in the G&G salon and along with this I juggled school and my current part time job in Kelly’s Centra Mountain Top.”

Voting is now live for Miss Donegal on the Miss Ireland app available on both Apple App Store ( and Android play store (…).