Hi Everyone,


So let me first start by introducing myself. 

As some of you may already know, on May 14th, I was lucky enough to be selected as this year’s Miss Kilkenny and will now go on to represent Kilkenny and  MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre at the Miss Ireland final 2016. I would like to start this blog as a way of promoting Miss Ireland and to give you a better insight into all the great opportunities and experiences that it has to offer, so I will be posting from here and keep you all updated. _MKK5183

Many girls think that it’s the end of the road for them,  if they don’t win or place high enough in the competition,  but I can’t stress  enough that this is not  the case and in fact, entering the competition can actually open new doors for them, regardless of who wins. Everyone has to start somewhere after all,  if they wish to pursue a dream, and for me this is it. My passion has always been in this area.  I’m quite a girly girl!

 Before entering the selection for Miss Kilkenny, I backed in and out of sending my entry form as i was so nervous at the thoughts of getting up on stage and public speaking.   I had never  modelled before or even participated in a fashion show so of course it was quite daunting. Now I can honestly say it has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and it’s already helped me to build confidence in myself. 

As a representative of Kilkenny, one of the aims I want to use my title for is to encourage girls to enter as it really is once in a lifetime opportunity when you think of all the different events you will attend and the people you will get to meet. It’s particularly great for helping to develop  self-esteem, which is so lacking in so many young girls theses days. I would gladly offer my help and advice to any girls considering entering this competition .

The whole experience of Miss Kilkenny was fun and exciting. I got to meet the 8 other finalists  who were all lovely and very friendly. We got the opportunity to do a fashion show together for Carraig Donn and Pamela Scott which I really enjoyed, and we also got to chat on air with the broadcaster of KCLR fm about the competition.IMG_0856

So, on May 14th, It was the big day. We met each other at 1pm in the management suite office of MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre wearing our own personally styled clothes.This was where the girls and I waited nervously to meet the judges in the boardroom but I guess we kept each other calm as we chatted away while we waited for our names to be called.  Next,  it was my turn and I went in to meet the four judges  – Sharon Hennessy from Miss Ireland, Karen Morrissey the Centre Personal Stylist, Michelle Cassidy from ONLY  and Majella Walsh from River Island. This was an informal interview so It was more like a chat and I introduced myself, spoke about my hobbies and why I entered. I was definitely very nervous,  but I remember,  once I had left, I thought to myself, I had nothing to be so nervous about in the first place.They were all so lovely to me and It went very well.  Just  a little self  belief in myself was all that was needed.

After this, we went backstage to get ready for the show. It was fun helping each other into our dresses and seeing each other looking so glamorous.   It was due to start at 3pm and we could hear the gathering of everyone outside. We met the MC of the day Trish Archer too and the atmosphere was on a high. The planning and organisation that went into the whole event was amazing and the presentation of the stage looked fabulous. It made the day all the more memorable. My parents, sister and friends had also come to support me.

The opening of the show began with the introduction of ourselves and a small chat with Trish. She was very bubbly and friendly and  she made me feel at ease on stage. After this, we then came up on stage, one at a time, to pick a judge to ask us a question of their choice. It was a bit nerve-wracking I’ll admit but I guess that’s only natural. We then left the judges to deliberate and to narrow it down to the top 3 finalists.


 I can still remember the very moment my name was called as one of the top 3. I was delighted and  couldn’t have been happier. At this stage I was just so proud that I had come this far. We were asked two questions each and then the judges decided  from this who the winner was.  It felt so long waiting backstage as they deliberated. The 3 of us hugged and wished each other the best of luck before coming back out on stage.

 The MC was handed the envelope and the winners from 3rd to 1st place was announced. I think I was so shocked to hear my name called as the winner that I didn’t react for a few seconds, I had to let it sink in!

I had now made it as a  Miss Ireland finalist and I was over the moon with excitement, pride and enthusiasm. It was such a humbling moment that  I  didn’t know whether to laugh or cry,  I was so full of mixed emotions. It meant so much to me and I am  so grateful to have been chosen to receive the title of Miss Kilkenny.

Last year’s Miss Kilkenny,  Sasha Connolly,  presented me with my sash and crown and I posed for pictures. It was surreal and very heart-warming to see my family, friends and even strangers  in the crowd cheering and smiling back at me. It was a moment I’ll never forget and  will always take with me in my heart._MKK5149

Thank you to everyone for your continued support and I will keep you all updated with the next few upcoming events. 

Finally, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who was involved in the competition and a special thank you to the MacDonagh Junction Centre for sponsoring it and making it  possible for me to have the honour of representing this Kilkenny and the Centre. I look forward to doing you all proud! 

Thanks for reading,

Zara, X