herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Celebrity Diary: A blur of parties and hard work but I couldn't have done it without my dad

IT'S been a whirlwind week of celebrating and toasting my big win at the Miss Universe Ireland final at the Burlington but now it's time to get down to the hard work.

With just over two months left until I'm due to go to Sao Paulo in Brazil to represent Ireland at the Miss Universe finals, it's just sinking in now how much I have to do to get organised.

As I haven't got a modelling background there's a lot to prepare and a lot for me to learn before I head off. It's all quite new to me but I'm loving every minute, it's all really exciting.

We all went to Bucks after the contest last week, including my parents and my sister Orla who is doing her Leaving Cert at the moment. My mam wasn't too happy with that!

It was a brilliant night, it's all a bit of a blur to be honest. I was still in shock to have had my name called out as the representative for Miss Spin South West. People were coming up asking for pictures with me all night. It was amazing.

We had another party again the following night at home in Listowel, Co Kerry, with loads of family and friends so I was delighted to have Sunday and Monday off to just chill at home and recover from it all.



football

That's the end of the partying for a while now as I want to be looking my best in September.

Thankfully I'm used to training and going to the gym because I play with Listowel ladies football club so it won't be a huge shock to the system.

My diet is quite good already so I won't have to make any huge adjustments. I'm just more conscious of looking after myself and ensuring that I'm getting plenty of sleep.

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to take a break from the GAA for the summer. It's a decision I've made myself as I can't do both. I can't take the risk that I would get injured or be battered and bruised heading off to Brazil.

The football club are behind me 100pc and we all feel it's the best thing to do. A few of them are actually hoping to come over to the Miss Universe finals to show their support.

On the bright side it will give me plenty of time to concentrate on learning to drive. It's something I really need to do now that I'm going to be doing a lot of travelling between Dublin and Listowel.

Luckily for me, my dad has been very obliging all week and has been chauffeuring me around to all my work commitments. On Wednesday evening I was in Killarney to attend the opera. I was invited along as a special guest and was brought up on to the stage wearing my sash and my crown.

Earlier that day my dad and I drove up early to Dublin, as I had an interview on Derek Mooney's radio show, on RTE Radio One.

My dad actually came on with me. He's been brilliant since I won, I'd be lost without him. We had a chat with Brenda Donohue. She was lovely, it didn't feel like an interview at all.

My boyfriend Jason Browne was asked to come on with me but he couldn't get the time off work. He's really happy for me, he's been so supportive the whole way along. It's been him pushing me and telling me to go and do this.

We've been together three years, he's from Listowel as well and he's going to come over to Brazil with my family and a couple of other friends in September. I'll have loads of support over there.

The reaction from everyone at home has been phenomenal.

I was on the road again yesterday as I had a photocall for the National Lottery in Dublin in the morning to announce that tonight's Euromillions jackpot is up to €90m. My dad again came to the rescue and drove me to Dublin.

I don't mind all the travelling as it's still such a novelty for me. I'll have to learn how to do my own hair and make-up for work gigs as it would save a bit of time.

I met up with my agent Andrea Roche afterwards, she's been great as well for giving me advice.

Once you win the Miss Universe Ireland pageant, you're automatically signed up to her agency, AR models, so I can't wait to get to work in the next few weeks.

I met some of the other girls in the agency like Rosanna Davison and Pippa O'Connor briefly after the Miss Universe pageant but I'm looking forward to getting to know them properly.

I have them to thank in part for giving me this opportunity as they were on the judging panel on the night.

I am planning to move closer to Dublin shortly because, as far as I'm concerned, it's up to me really to make a name for myself by doing as much work as I can.



advice

I had been due to go back to the University of Limerick in September to start a new course in Sports Science but I'll be deferring that now. You only get an opportunity like this once! Last year I studied Law there but I decided it wasn't really for me.

I have some family in Drogheda so I'll probably move there initially and commute up and down. I'll move to Dublin once I find my feet.

Last year's Miss Universe Ireland Rozanna Purcell has been fantastic and has been giving me lots of advice about the year ahead.

I would love if I could accomplish even half what she has, she's made such a name for herself. I really look up to her and, of course, if Donald Trump took a shine to me I would love to work abroad. I'm just concentrating on the contest itself for now though. I'm not thinking too far ahead.

I'm sponsored by the Ivory closet and I-clothing as part of my prize for the year so I'll definitely be getting in touch with them to help me find the perfect outfits for Brazil in September.

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