Sinead flying flag for Kerry in Miss Ireland

Miss Kerry, Sinead O’Hanlon from Listowel
Miss Kerry, Sinead O’Hanlon from Listowel

Marisa Reidy

SHE'S a self confessed health and fitness fanatic and if her looks are anything to go by Miss Kerry Sinead O'Hanlon could well fulfill her dream of securing a modelling contract after competing in this weekend's Miss Ireland finals.

The 18-year-old beauty and body therapist from Listowel will fly the Kerry flag at the national finals in Dublin on Saturday night, cheered on by her proud parents Cathal and Margaret, sister Charlie and boyfriend Jack Mallet. Even Sinead's nan Margaret O'Hanlon and her aunt Martin Kelly who are all keeping their fingers crossed that Sinead will bring the crown back to Listowel.

"I'm kind of nervous but really looking forward to it as well," Sinead told The Kerryman this week.

"The whole experience has been amazing and really overwhelming and the support I've received from people has been fantastic.

"You really don't realise how much people are behind you until you do something like this."

Sinead qualified from her studies in Waterford just a day before winning the Miss Kerry title and says that she has always had a desire to become a model.

She counts fellow Listowel beauty and former Miss Universe Ireland, Aoife Hannon, among her inspirations and says the two have formed a close relationship since she was selected as Miss Kerry.

"Aoife is someone I've always admired and looked up to and she has been a great support to me. I'm meeting up with her again this weekend and she's promised to give me some tips, which is so lovely of her," Sinead said.

"When I first thought about entering this competition I looked up to Aoife and Rosanna Davison and said I'd love to follow in their footsteps."

Whether or not Sinead wins the Miss Ireland crown, she fully appreciates the opportunities that could come from such a competition.

"I've always wanted to pursue a career in modelling so I'd absolutely love to get a modelling contract from this. It's a great platform so we'll just have to wait and see."

In the meantime, Sinead will be perfecting her evening wear, cocktail wear and best bikini poses for Saturday night's competition, which will see 34 ladies from across the country compete for the coveted Miss Ireland title.


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