'I nearly died on the spot!' - Newry boutique owner Charlene Byers named g Hotel Best Dressed Lady
The skies were grey for day four of the Galway Races but there was colour on the grounds as hundreds of women from across the country descended on Ballybrit for the g Hotel Best Dressed Lady competition.
The winner was mum-of-two Charlene Byers (34) from Newry, Co Down, who had never been to the Galway Races before.
Charlene wore a dress by Umit Kutluk from Kildare Village, a hat by Laura Hannon and shoes from Next.
"It took me about three weeks (to put it together). I eyed the dress and I just fell in love with it and said, 'I'm going to Galway in that dress'. That's how it started and then everything came together," she said.
Charlene, who owns a hat shop named the Dress House in her native Newry, told how she never expected to win.
"Never in a million years. A girl can dream, but you have to be realisitc. There are so many girls here today and they all look fantastic.
"I nearly died on the spot (when they called my name). It's very surreal," she told independent.ie.
Charlene has previously won Best Dressed competitions at Downpatrick and Limerick races and reckons simplicity is the way to go.
"My style would be quite simple and elegant and staying with the one colour. Keep it very simple and minimal, don't over do it," she said.
She was joined at the racecourse by her husband Paul, while her children Adam (7) and April (4) were watching at home.
"I can't wait to ring them," she said.
Charlene won a diamond and pearl pendant worth €6,000, a €2,000 cash prize and a romantic trip to two for Paris along with flights and accommodation and a luxury stay at the g Hotel in Galway.