The Dundalk Democrat sat down with Ardee woman Chelsea Farrell who was crowned Miss Ireland at the Helix in Dublin on Sunday, September 15. The midwifery student told us why she'll be taking a year out from her studies at DkIT to focus on her role as Miss Ireland 2019 and why she would encourage other young Irish ladies to put themselves forward for the competition.
DD: Can you tell us about the moment they called out your name as the winner of Miss Ireland 2019 in the Helix?
CF: "So initially when I got into the top 8 I was absolutely delighted, and I honestly didn’t expect to win it. So when they called out my name as the winner I was absolutely shocked, in the moment I was completely overwhelmed with emotions I couldn’t believe it. I was over the moon and bursting with pride."
DD: Was it a complete surprise?
CF: "Yes, it was 110% a complete surprise, I didn’t see it coming. For me I was just thoroughly enjoying my experience and enjoying the journey that I never initially felt like I was in a competition as everybody got on so well, it was one big family. So when I stood on stage with all 32 of the other girls I never expected to win it at all, it was a surprise, but the best surprise I ever received."
DD: What does this opportunity mean to you?
CF: "Honestly, it means the world to me. I always looked up to the likes of Rosanna Davidson, Aoife Walsh, and Holly Carpenter and now for me to be standing in the same position that each of them were in it’s just crazy. It’s a huge opportunity and one I never imagined myself achieving, so now that I have won it I am going to make the absolute most of my time and do the best I can."
DD: What are your plans for this year after winning?
CF: "So obviously now my next journey is the journey to Miss World which is in London in December. So I will be doing a lot of preparation in the run-up to that, mainly focusing on my Beauty With a Purpose campaign. So as Miss Ireland for the year, I am going to work as hard as I can to raise awareness around the power of social media, cyberbullying/bullying, mental health etc as I feel like it’s a huge topic in society today and needs to be spoken about a lot more. So I aim to take my campaign into schools around Ireland throughout the year and try and get my message out there as much as I can."
DD: Will you continue with your studies in midwifery in DKIT?
CF: "As I am so busy this year, and I want to put my all into the year I have decided to defer my course until next September. I feel this is the best decision as I will only get this opportunity once so it’s my duty as Miss Ireland now to do as much as I can within the year and make my country proud, and then next year I can return to my studies."
DD: What has the experience of being Ms Louth and then winning Miss Ireland been like so far?
CF: "The whole experience has been amazing. From winning Miss Louth to winning Miss Ireland, the journey has been overwhelming but I wouldn’t change a thing. Honestly, I had so much fun throughout the competition and I really enjoyed myself. I made so many new friends for life, got to know so many new people and experienced things I never imagined I would. I stepped outside of my comfort zone and looking back now I am so glad that I took the decision to enter as Miss Louth because I have come so far in the last few months, and it’s only upwards from here."
DD: What would you say to anyone out there thinking of entering this competition?
"If I could give anybody advice it would be to just go for it. Don’t overthink it. Sometimes we need to step outside our comfort zones and do things we wouldn’t normally do in order to find ourselves and allow ourselves to grow. It’s honestly the best experience and you will enjoy every minute of it, so if you’re thinking of entering it just go for it because you won’t regret it. Never doubt yourself and your abilities, if you want to do it, do it."