Local women compete for title of Miss Universe Ireland
A quartet of Wexford women are among those hoping to be named Miss Universe Ireland in Dublin this Thursday.
Megan O'Malley, Melanie Delaney and Kira Kilcoyne from Wexford will be joined by Gorey's Alexandra Doyle in the Mansion House for an event which will see the winner qualify for the Miss Universe final in South Korea this December.
Megan O'Malley is an actor and model who is campaigning against fat-reducing products being sold to children. Having spent years being ashamed of her body, Megan says she now sees herself as confident and beautiful and is determined to share her story and help other women overcome their own lack of confidence.
Although she is from Wexford, Megan is being sponsored by Dublin Nails in Thursday's final and will wear a sash bearing the company's name.
Having finished as one of the runners-up in last year's event, Melanie Delaney has returned for another tilt at the title. The 24 year-old works as an Oncology Pharmaceutical Technician in St Vincent's Private Hospital and hopes to use her success on the beauty pageant circuit to heighten awareness of skin cancer.
She recently carried out research on the dangers of sunbeds which led to an investigation into businesses which hadn't been adhering to best practises and had been endangering the health of their clients.
Kira Kilcoyne is a business student at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT). Bullied as a child for her lisp Kira has overcome her fear of public speaking and is now far more comfortable addressing large crowds.
A passionate supporter of Wexford SPCA, the former Loreto pupil has adopted a number of cats and dogs into her own home, saving them from being killed or abandoned. Kira is sponsored by Simply Divine in Thursday's event.
Having already played for the Leinster Rugby U19 Girls Development Team and in the highest level of rugby league in this country, Alexandra Doyle is, not surprisingly, fully behind the 20x20 Women in Sport campaign.
Aiming to increase participation, media coverage and attendance levels across all women's sport, the initiative is something which Alexandra is uniquely placed to contribute to, and she argues that it will show younger girls that women's sport is something to be celebrated.
The Miss Universe Ireland final will be streamed live on the MUI Facebook page from 7 p.m.