Face of Ireland are now seeking nominations for the 2013 Face of Business Awards which take place in Moran's Red Cow Hotel in July. Nominate your favourite business today
Face of Ireland are now seeking nominations for the 2013 Face of Business Awards which take place in Moran's Red Cow Hotel in July. Nominate your favourite business today
Face of Ireland are now seeking nominations for the 2013 Face of Business Awards which take place in Moran's Red Cow Hotel in July. Nominate your favourite business today
It is nearing the end of the first month of 2013 and the first month of my reigning year as Face of Ireland and what a month it has been. When Mr. Brian Cunningham the CEO of Face of Ireland told me things were going to get crazy when we get into the New Year, I don’t think I believed just how quickly the diary would fill up.After switching on the Christmas lights in my home town of Cavan on the first of December, I went on to have a lovely, peaceful Christmas with my family and friends. Christmas was extra special this year as I looked back on the amazing year I was lucky enough to enjoy. I said a very happy goodbye to 2012 and welcomed in the New Year, with the hope that it will be as brilliant as the year passed.
Wow…..what can I say! It is exactly six weeks since I was honoured to have been chosen as the 2013 Face of Ireland Ambassador. It is incredible. I don’t think I have ever had such a busy five weeks in my life.
Thinking back to the night of the 13th of October in Moran’s Red Cow Hotel, Dublin (Photo Gallery here) I can still feel the shock and overwhelming happiness when the one and only Mr. Aonghus Mc Anally called out and ‘Our winner is from County Cavan, Annita Brady’. We always wonder how it must feel when we see someone winning any sort of competition on TV and we see the person in complete shock unable to speak. I never thought I would ever feel such exhilaration and that for once I was actually not able to speak…..although that didn’t last too long!!I still can’t find the words to describe the feelings, I guess the only way I could describe it, is a sheer state of disbelief and joy! I remember walking forward hugging Sinead Kerr and Juliana Ayton and congratulating them as they had come second and third. When I saw the reactions of my family on the left hand side of the stage, it was overpowering. They clamoured up onto the stage and almost knocked me over with their joy. It was quite funny with the beautiful flowers and plaque in hands and everyone hugging and congratulating me my stunning Mulliger Crystal tiara almost fell of my head. I was very grateful to one of the judges Aisling Mangan of Inglot Cosmetics for securely placing it on my head. I remember one of the first photographs taken was in between the beautiful judges, Denise Smith journalist with the Sunday World, Aisling Mangan, Jill Wallace the inaugural Face of Ireland, Debbie Allen of Q102 and Jon Jeromes of Europcar. I remember trying to compose myself for the photos and video as the videographer Philip and photographer Derek called my name, although some of the initial photographs captured my immediate reaction, with my forehead all wrinkled in shock! All of the girls were so congratulatory, it meant so much and I remember feeling very exposed as all the attention was now on mw whereas throughout the competition I always had this network of 24 other girls around me.
I came down off the stage and I will never forget the pride of my two uncles Patsy and Ben in particular, I had never witnessed them so happy in my life. Then my Mam handed me her phone and it was my auntie in New York, I can’t even remember what I said to her or what she said as there was such a commotion going on around me. Another phone was then handed to me and it was my uncle Noel in New York and I remember him saying, ‘I knew you could do it’, after another brief conversation with my other aunt Rose, I was led out by Pierce to do my first ever interview as the Face of Ireland for Sky. I can’t remember what I said, it was all very surreal! Then I went off to the room where a mere seven hours earlier I had sat in front of the judges for an individual interview. Myself and the videographers Philip and Niamh Guckian had a laugh and I remember there was a map of the world behind me during the interview, as a Geography teacher I was very happy about this of course and as a History teacher the fact that the map was an old world map compounded my joy…hilarious I know that I noticed the map! When we finished the interview and Philip said ‘we are going to have so much fun with you this year’. It was at that moment that I realised these interviews and this excitement was going to continue for the rest of the year. The sit down chat with Brian later on in the night when the hotel was long deserted was surreal, we discussed my homecoming celebration plans…..was this actually happening?!
When I got back to the family they had taken over the residence bar and their happiness remained palpable! The taxi ride back with my Mam and auntie Kathleen serenading me to the ‘Cavan Girl’ song is a moment I will never forget. Upon arriving into my aunties estate as typical ‘culchies’ from the country they were all cheering until my boyfriend Darragh reminded us we were in the ‘big shmoke’ now, we were going to wake up the neighbours at 6am in the morning!! Champagne was popped open at 6.30am and my uncle Brian had somehow managed to record the reactions of the rest of my mad family as they flipped chairs and my Mam screamed ‘Cancel the taxi, cancel the taxi!’ After about 7am and the beds were laid down around the house although, I don’t think there was much sleeping done. Myself and Darragh got back to his house and woke his parents at 7.30, we then made the journey down to Cavan deciding there was absolutely no point in trying to go to sleep after the madness of the night! We sang our hearts out all the way down the road, if anyone had have seen us me with the crown still firmly planted on my head, I am sure they would have made a quick 999 call!! I think we really took out when The Script’s new single ‘Hall of Fame’ came on, a song which will forever remain my Face of Ireland song. This is because, on the morning of the final as Darragh drove me over to Moran’s Red Cow hotel this was the song which was on the radio and he said ‘if you win this will be your song!’ I must take this opportunity to give a huge thanks to Moran’s Hotel at the Red Cow for the brilliant service and food we received not only on the night of the final but also on the days we met up before the final.
We got home and I think I slept for about an hour…if even, I remember the tiara was sitting on the dressing table and I just lay there looking at it. I was unbelievably honoured that the judges believed I was capable of taking on such a prestigious role. I had the most amazing experience during the whole journey leading up to the Face of Ireland. I met the most talented, beautiful, personable girls, girls I now consider close friends.
Sunday was a very special day as the first place I visited was my Grandmother’s. When I arrived all my family were there, all my aunties, uncles and cousins. It was such a special moment coming into to my Nanna in my dress with the tiara and sash on. She is my biggest fan and always has been in everything I do. She looked after me since I was a baby and we have such a special bond, I was so happy to make her proud especially since she had told everybody about me in the competition. I remember my wee four year old cousin Grace just sitting there looking up at the tiara on my head, mesmerised. She was so cute and when she tried on the tiara and my auntie took a photograph she just kept looking at the phone! The phone call from Ed Darragh was also one I won’t forget as she explained what an exciting year I had ahead of me.
The week was madness, it was all systems go as we prepared for my homecoming the following Sunday! There were so many people who gave me unwavering support that week. The local publican of The Stray Sod Eamonn Denning was unreal, taking calls from me every minute and ensuring everything was organised to a ‘T’, from banners to bands, he was wonderful. The same has to be said for my dear primary school teacher and principal ‘Master’ Michael Conaty, for the beautiful sign from all at St. Mary’s National School, the lovely cards from all the students and all their kind words of support and congratulations. I think one of the most memorable moments from that week has to be going into my old school to deafening cheers from all the students and all the Junior Infant students running around calling me a princess! I remember those special days when visitors would come into the school and we’d get out of class and get no homework, how delighted I was to now be that visitor and the one to ensure no homework for the whole school! I remember the Monday night my best friends Andrea and Melissa came up to the house and they were ecstatic for me, we went through the beautiful hampers and admired the stunning jewellery I received from Orchid Jewellery.
The first ever interview I did was on Tuesday with Rebecca on Q102 which went really well. She put me at such ease and I just nattered on! Seeing my photograph and article on the front page of my local newspaper, The Anglo Celt on Thursday was so strange and exciting as the headline truly hit me, Sky would be in Drung in less than two days!!
The day of my homecoming celebrations (Photo Gallery here) was in the title of ‘Take That’s’ song the ‘Greatest Day of my Life’. That may sound clique but honestly it is a day I will never forget as long as I live. I have never experienced the most overwhelming pride to be from the small village of Drung in County Cavan. Everyone from the community came out to celebrate with me and it meant so much to have such huge support.
The day started off with getting our hair and makeup done, myself my sister Aoife, my mother and my Grandmother. It was a special bonding time for us all and we had so much fun getting the ultimate pampering and beautification by the extremely professional Samantha Crowe my hairdresser for years and local beautician Charlene Monaghan, both of whom I am so grateful to, for working on a Sunday too. Back home my auntie Caroline was an absolute treasure to have around that morning making breakfast, ironing shirts and the like. I couldn’t wait to put on my dress and once I had slipped into it the time wasn’t long ticking on!
One by one all my family, friends and neighbours arrived and the camera began flashing. I was absolutely blessed the weather was divine, dry and surprisingly warm for an October day. I am sure my Grandad and good friend Margaret were pulling a few strings up there to ensure the sun was shining and there wasn’t a drop of rain all day. Then the man himself, Mr. Brian Cunningham spun up the lane and the real action begun as he had the pro’s in toe….Derek Mc Auley and Michael Mc Loughlin, the photographers both whom captured stunning photographs of everyone special in my life. The Sky camera crew Pauric and Catriona deserve a big thank you too, for recording interviews with all those closest to me. Hearing the words of my parents Teresa and Frank, brother Donnachadh, sister Aoife, Grandmother Annie and boyfriend Darragh were really special moments, especially my Grandmother who at eighty-five spoke eloquently….a true lady.
Arriving at my primary school with all the students in their uniforms was amazing. I cannot thank them and their parents enough for making the effort to dress their children for school on a Sunday and come out and support me! Then it was across the road to our local pub and never before and probably never again will I witness such a mass of jubilant people. It was euphoric seeing the effort of family and friends coming from far and wide to celebrate with me. Getting announced and welcomed into my local pub was something….it was unreal, having an entire pub full of people all singing Bruno Mars ‘Amazing’ to me was magical! The band Phil and Cossie and the DJ ‘Daz’ are owed a big thanks. I was overwhelmed with emotion and was more proud of where I come from than ever before, it planted a seed of desire in me to continue to make all these people, ‘my’ people proud of me, to do everything I can to represent them in the best possible light and do everything in my power to help them in any way I can. Three very important guests also attended on the day, Mayor of Cavan town Des Cullen, County Council Chairman Paddy Reilly, and local politician Brendan Smith. Each of these esteemed guests gave powerful speeches and I was unbelievably grateful that each one of them gave up their Sunday afternoon to share in this very special occasion with me. The interviews with my three best friends Andrea Curran, Melissa Crowe and Katie Fennelly were both memorable and entertaining as they praised me and revealed my embarrassing stories on camera, some of which I had forgotten…..and for good reason!! The day was made special by another dear friend Stephanie O’ Reilly, another Cavan girl from the competition who came to share my day and brought her little bundle of joy along also! I have to extend another very special thank you to Susan Curran, Ann Galligan and Rosemary Johnson for selling tickets for the raffle we held in aid of the suicide prevention and awareness charity GRASP Greater Responsibility and Awareness of Suicide Prevention.
The rest of the day was so much fun, we danced, we talked, we laughed and I went home that night bursting with happiness and pride unable to sleep!
The following Tuesday I graduated from my Professional Diploma in Education and received my degree which was another special day for myself and my family. On the Thursday, I had my first ever photoshoot, (Photo Gallery here) to say I was nervous would have been an understatement but I was also extremely excited! I didn’t know what to expect but decided to just go with it! Niamh Guckian was there to catch all the fun on camera and Derek Mc Auley photographed me. I was so happy to hear it was with both of these not only because, they are two of the top professionals in their field but also because, I knew I would have fun with them…..and fun we had! Another photographer Eimear Collins and makeup artist Sarah Lavelle Becker were also present for the day, with Sarah fabulousing my face! The shoots were so much fun, each was so different and unique and I was surprised at how ‘in character’ I was able to become. This was definitely thanks to the clear direction of Derek who has a seriously sharp eye for what will look good, fantastic photographer I recommend him to everyone! I was amazed at how each photograph looked so different from professional to dark and mysterious to Christmassey, I had to do a double take that one, it was actually me and two, I was the same person! We all had so much fun including my Mam, it was so nice to share such a nice day with her and she became emotional at times which was so touching. I couldn’t believe by the end of the shoot four hours had passed, it felt like four minutes….. ‘Time flies when you’re having fun!’
My first official event, I am very happy to say was in my hometown of County Cavan, I was asked to present prizes at the Virginia Pumpkin Festival (Photo Gallery here), an annual Pumpkin Festival held in the town of Virginia in County Cavan which began a few years ago and is gaining momentum year after year! The pumpkins were quite literally ‘hugely impressive’! They weighed hundreds of pounds and came from around the world including as far away as Austria and Germany! It was an honour to present the prizes to the victorious pumpkin growers who grew the largest and heaviest pumpkins. Posing for photographs with the Olympic medallist boxer John Joe Nevin was another ‘pinch me quick’ moment. It was a freezing cold, wet day however, I was too excited to even feel the cold. I also presented the prizes to the winners of the Fancy Dress later that night with Iradio DJ Fergal Darcy spinning the decks.
Later that week, on the first of November I was honoured to launch the inaugural ‘Taste of Cavan’ event in the Hotel Kilmore with the Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney. It was ‘foodtastic’ event and has a raging success. It showcased all the very best of locally produced food by Cavan businesses and it was empowering for both local businesses and Cavan people to see exactly what we have on our very doorstep. I was also privileged to have the opportunity to present the prizes to the winning students of the Cavan Schools Cook-off competition. It was a very important event for me personally as it marked the beginning of a pivotal element of my year, promoting local and national business, something I believe in and hope to pursue wholeheartedly. I think more than ever in these economic times it is critical that we promote indigenous enterprise.
I cannot thank the Face of Ireland team enough for securing me a place on Irish.tv’s TV presenting course in Westport, Co. Mayo on the 17th and 18th of November. We had a lovely stay at the Mill Times hotel. It was a fantastic weekend with lots of laughs and excellent teaching. Pierce and his team, Mairead, Edel, Klaus, Amanda and Eric gave a brilliant course sharing their expertise with us and picking on our little quirks and ensuring we nipped them in the bud before we got in front of the camera. Their advice was invaluable and I have a huge appreciation for every presenter and all the little things they have to remember when presenting. Hearing from the pro’s in the field, Darragh McCullough presenter on ‘Ear to the Ground’ and Tony McCabe whose voice is very well known across Ireland, as he does numerous voiceovers, most notably the voiceover for on the Iarnrod Eireann trains. It was a wonderful weekend and the craic was surely had with Face of Ireland CEO Brian Cunningham, Siobhan, Pauric and Noreen and with all the rest of the participants on the course who I had the pleasure of meeting. Here’s hoping I will be putting my newly acquired skills to use very soon!!:)
From the wild West, I made my way to the midlands namely Athlone, where I completed a Mental Health Awareness Training course run by Linda and Finola. The course was excellent and extremely informative. It was very important for me to complete as I will be promoting the suicide awareness and prevention charity GRASP this year. It gave me a greater understanding of ways in which each one of us can promote positive mental health. Most of the other participants were older than me and work in the social care field and it was really beneficial and interesting for me to hear their experiences and perspectives.
It has been all go for the past six weeks and it looks set to continue that way for the coming weeks and into the New Year. I am delighted to be switching on the Christmas lights in my hometown this Saturday! I am looking forward to a jam packed New Year of activity kicking off with my driving lessons in January. I am so nervous and excited at the same time! I can’t wait to appear on Ballyshannon’s own Celebrity Late Late Show in early January with all the proceeds of the show going to GRASP Life Foundation. Theres all these fantastic events and of course the most exciting month in the calendar….and no not just because, it’s my birthday….I will be launching the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the city that never sleeps, New York’s Fifth Avenue! Even as I write this, I don’t think it has hit me it is the biggest honour of my life to have the opportunity to represent Ireland on the international stage! I can’t believe it!
This has been the craziest and greatest six weeks of my life and I’m so excited about the rest of the year. I hope you can follow me on this amazing journey as Face of Ireland Ambassador on facebook, twitter and faceofireland.com
A Trans-Atlantic Skype audition delivered a dynamic winning call for Cavan born contestant Annita Brady as she has just been crowned The 2013 Face Of Ireland. The coveted title is an ambassadorial role representing the Charity Grasp and promoting Irish Business both here and abroad. In third place was Derry born Julianna Ayton and runner up from Co. Monaghan, was Sinead Kerr.
Now in its sixth year this is one of Ireland's leading competitions for women over the age of 18 and this year’s remit was all about entrepreneurial skills. “We were looking for ambitious, highly driven individuals who look the part but will also go forward to represent Irish business and The Irish Suicide Prevention Charity GRASP at the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2013” says Executive Producer Brian Cunningham. Some 32,000 girls applied in the past year all with one dream to work in the Industry and represent their country, business and charities as an Ambassador. Annita spent the summer as an Intern in Washington DC and has just completed a Masters in Military History and Strategic Studies at NUI Maynooth. This young lady would be very comfortable in drawing rooms all over the world including The White House.We believe the judges made the right decision.
Judges lined up on the night include TV3 Midday regular Panellist and Q102 Radio Presenter Debbie Allen, Sunday World Journalist Denise Smith, Inglot Cosmetics Chief Make-up Artist Aisling Mangan, Europcar Corporate Manager Jon Jerromes and The Inaugural Face of Ireland Winner Jill Wallace.
The Winner crowned The 2013 Face of Ireland also won; A BB Awards Mullingar Crystal which is a stunning piece representing the heritage of the country. A one week luxury break in Spain, including flights and accommodation for 2 people in February 2013. A five-day-stay in the City that Never Sleeps New York in March 2013 where you will attend the New York. St. Patrick’s Day Parade with a member of the Face of Ireland Team and officially launch the Parade. 12 Luxurious Dresses for all those special events. (One per Month) A professional portfolio photo shoot with Derek Mc Auley Photography. 1000 Euros worth of Orchid Jewels Jewellery. Tanning Products for one Year. A Training Session with Avril Mawhinney and her team to include a professional photo shoot. Hair Hamper full of wonderful products for a period of one year. A Makeup Hamper full of beauty products for a period of one year. A trip for five friends to Donegal to include Accommodation and some of the best features that Donegal has to offer.
The Competition; whose sponsors also include BB Awards Mullingar Crystal, Moran's Hotels, Bewleys Hotels, Inglot Cosmetics Ireland, Orchid Jewels, Flowers by Moira Dunshaughlin, Green Light Media and Europcar.ie searched the 32 counties of Ireland looking for s the Next Face of Ireland. Through elimination rounds from various centres across the 32 Counties over the past year, 24 candidates will competed at the National Grand Final on Saturday night 13thOctober.
The variety show was hosted by RTE personality and stand-up comedian Aonghus McAnally and was filmed as an Independent Production for Sky Channel 191.
Also on the night The Face of Ireland held a Gala Draw. The Gala Prizes include; Flights for Two to Madrid for 7 nights at the spectacular 4 Star Gran Versalles Hotel, Two Nights Bed & Breakfast with a complimentary Evening Meal for two at The Mespil Hotel, Dublin 4. Two Nights Bed & Breakfast at Harvey's Point Country Hotel, Donegal Town, Donegal. One Night Break for two at Moran's Red Cow Hotel Dublin. A Luxurious Hamper of Cosmetics to the value of €500 A luxurious Hamper of Hair Products to the value of €500
Face of Ireland is proud to have had a long association with charities such as STOP, Solace Cancer Support Unit, My Sister Zoe Appeal, Aware and now with the tragic increase of incidence in suicide our association with GRASP has never been more important. GRASP stands for Greater Responsibility and Awareness in Suicide Prevention.
My name is Mona Jacobson. I am 20 years of age and I am currently I am a student in Carlow IT studying Bachelor of Science in Construction in Architectural Technology and I’m one of the 32,000 girls who applied to be the next Face of Ireland. I am representing the County of Laois, In this Blog I will briefly tell you about my experiences as one of 30 finalists of the Face of Ireland ambassadorial search 2012/2013 in association with Europcar.
My experience of Face of Ireland has been unbelievable. The main aim of this search is to select a national ambassador who will represent Ireland at national and international events. My first interview was very enjoyable. I was delighted to get through to the second heat live semi-finals! The competition is also focused on working with charities, the fact that it supported charities meant a lot to me too; this year the chosen charity is G.R.A.S.P (Greater Responsibility and Awareness in Suicide Prevention) G.R.A.S.P is a charity set up by founder of S.T.O.P (Suicide, Teach, Organise, Prevent) Mary McTernan who has been an active campaigner and fundraiser in suicide prevention for many years and one of the challenges set by this year’s judges is to show initiative in helping to fund raise for G.R.A.S.P Part of my responsibility as a Face of Ireland finalist is to help raise the profile of this new charity and promote it’s good work through whichever channel I can. In the mean time I am selling tickets for the Face of Ireland Grand Final gala draw in association with Europcar. There are some fantastic prizes up for grabs including:
Flights for Two to Madrid for 7 nights at the spectacular 4 Star Gran Versalles Hotel.
Two Nights Bed & Breakfast w/complimentary evening meal for 2 at The Mespil Hotel, Dublin.
Two Nights Bed & Breakfast at Harvey’s Point Country Hotel, Donegal Town, Donegal.
One Night Break for two at Moran’s Red Cow Hotel, Naas Road, Dublin 22.
A Hamper of Cosmetics to the value of €500
A Hamper of Hair Products to the value of €500
Well Wisher - Sponsor
My well-wisher is Face -It Studio Beauty Academy in Kildare and my dress for the event was kindly sponsored by SERGEVI Company. I wish to thank both for the wonderful support they have offered me throughout this journey. I would also like to thank all the people who have supported my official social media updates by sharing the wonderful messages of Face of Ireland. I’m so looking forward to the final! The experience of this alone has made such a big impact on me. I have more confidence to meet new people and work in this type of industry. Thanks to everyone who got me this far and of course Brian and all of the face of Ireland crew.
My name is Emma Mc Keown, I am representing Tyrone after being crowned the Face of Tyrone in April 2012. I am 22 years of age and study Business and Marketing at Coleraine University of Ulster, I have just completed a 14 month placement with The Keystone Group in Cookstown and will return to university in the coming weeks to complete my final year of study. I have a keen interest in fashion and work part time in New Look. In the future I would like to run my own business, I am currently exploring a number of business ideas which I will focus on when finishing university.
I applied to The Face of Ireland as I felt this was an excellent opportunity to represent not only my home county of Tyrone but also to represent the country of Ireland as an ambassador. With the current economic climate, it is vitally important to give additional support to our businesses and charities to help Ireland survive this economic downfall. The Face of Ireland has helped a number of charities to make considerable impacts on the lives of those in need in Ireland. I feel it is critical to continue helping these charities, to be an ambassador and help put these words into action would be a great privilege.
My experience to date with The Face of Ireland has been incredible, many doors have been opened for me and I hope to make the most of every available opportunity that comes my way. The Face of Tyrone final was a fantastic experience the O'Donnell family made each and every one of us girls feel special and helped us in away way possible. The ladies whom I have met through this competition are all stunning, intelligent and amazing people to learn from, I hope to keep in contact with as many as possible! The organisation and experience of the competition has been great, it is fast paced and we face new tasks and opportunities each time we meet, the support from family, boyfriend and friends have been a great motivator in the competition. I hope to do each of them, my county and country proud as I progress towards the Final in October.
My very excited to introduce my sponsor as Bar Doe Cookstown, this is a fantastic family run bar in the heart of Cookstown in County Tyrone, it is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a drink after a long weeks work. Bar Doe have been a fantastic support to me during my journey from the Face of Tyrone in April, on Friday 28/9/12 Bar Doe kindly held a ‘Good luck’ night in support and preparation for The Face of Ireland Finals.
Please take a minute to visit the Bar Doe website : www.bardoecookstown.co.uk
I would also like to thank Fox’s Formals where I purchased my Face of Tyrone dress. They have very kindly sponsored a fantastic dress to wear at the Face of Ireland Final, the ladies here are fantastic and have been a great support!
Thank you also to all of the local businesses and families whom have wish me luck in Dublin.
My name is Sinéad Kerr and I am nineteen years old. In my short time on this earth I have trained for eight years as a martial artist. I have won numerous titles including the prestigious title as the Irish open champion and the WOMMA world grand champion. I have trained with weapons called Nun chuck’s for the past five years on and off and will be performing a Kata for my party piece at the grand final of the Face of Ireland competition. I am a happy go lucky type and enjoy going out and meeting new people. I am not afraid of a little hard work and always fight to strive and achieve what I want. I have never entered anything like the Face of Ireland competition before and I am really enjoying my experience. I think that all the girls are beautiful inside and out and I have made some really good friends so far. I entered via Facebook last minute and never thought twice about proceeding to the next round. During my interview I felt my heart sink as Ed, said that she didn’t want me to proceed to the semi finals, it was then that I finally realised how badly I wanted to be part of the Face of Ireland team! I cannot say in enough words my excitement as Brian and Ed explained how they wanted me to go straight through to the FINALS! And now here I am getting closer to the Grand Final, overwhelmed by the support from my friends, family and even strangers! I am just two beautiful dresses, two tanning sessions, Sparkly shoes a haircut and some interview preparation left to go. I just hope to get out there and do everyone proud.
I am excited to tell you that my well wisher is Vanity Nightclub from Carrickmacross. It is my local nightclub that I have worked as an ambassador for, for the last year. Vanity is an exciting club that offers a luxury experience with four bars and an exclusive VIP cocktail bar. It caters for all ages even tweenies, offering non alcoholic discos, student nights and sexy something’s on Saturdays. Because vanity is such a luxurious club it is always fully booked for Debs packages and VIP occasions.
My escort’s name is Andrew Mc Kee. Andrew is twenty one years old and lives in Portadown. He has been working as a chef in Carrickmacross for the last year. Where we have become very close friends. I am delighted that he has decided to join in my attempt to become the face of Ireland 2012/13.
Hello, my name is Aisling Lanigan and I am 19 years old. I have the privilege of being one of Tyrone’s representatives in the Face of Ireland in Association with Europcar. Firstly I would like to say a big thank you to everyone at Local Women Magazine for enriching experiences through interviews and photo shoots, not only am I grateful for this but also for their sponsorship in the competition and continued support throughout.
Face of Ireland in Association with Europcar has been a fantastic and exciting experience from the beginning where it all started with a simple Facebook message from the beautiful O’Donnell ladies, Marie and Aimee. In this message they told me a bit about the competition from Aimee’s personal experiences from the previous year and they invited me to meet them for an interview where we immediately hit it off! Although at first with my hectic schedule with my A-Levels I was somewhat reluctant on whether or not to get involved, but once the interview with Marie and Aimee was over those doubts and uncertainties had been erased completely and I knew this was an opportunity I had to grab with both hands. It was the idea of meeting new girls in a similar position but vastly different to myself, sharing experiences, gain confidence in my own ability in public speaking and performing as well as the possibility of representing my county which really sold the competition to me. So it was then that I progressed as a contestant in the Face of Tyrone where the final was to be held in the Glenavon House Hotel in Cookstown. Thankfully, as Aimee knew first hand how daunting the idea of it all could be on the girls they held a meet and greet night in Moes in Cookstown which gave all of the girls a chance to meet each other and meet Marie’s lovely husband Jimmy, who was also heavily involved especially in the Face of Tyrone Final. The meet and greet night was held on Friday 20th April, I found this a great opportunity to meet all the other girls and begin to anticipate and look forward to the Face of Tyrone final.
The Face of Tyrone final was held on Sunday the 29th of April in the Glenavon House Hotel in Cookstown, my lovely sponsor for the Face of Tyrone was Amanda Mitchell who owns U.R. Beautiful based in Tattyreagh. The day started off at 9am with an interview with the judges, after this all the girls got pampered by local beauticians and hair stylists which I absolutely loved, what girl wouldn’t! Following the pampering each girl got the chance to take part in a video interview with Philip Boyle, this interview gave me an insight into what it is like to be on camera, I am thankful for this as working in the TV industry is something I have always dreamt of. Next on the day’s agenda was the photo shoots where we had individual and group photo’s taken, by this point the final was growing closer and a mixture of nerves and excitement had started to kick in. Appreciatively the Glenavon House Hotel provided all the girls with a lunch before the show which was delicious to say the least. Showtime soon arrived and before I knew it support for all the girls had started to appear, we were ready in our evening wear with our hair and makeup done for the final. It all happened so fast and I was very eager to get on stage with the magnificent Deric Hartigan from TV3, which is an experience I will never forget. On stage Deric asked me questions on my ambitions, fears, family and friends as well as how I got involved in it all, it must be said he really made me feel very much at ease on stage. After the chat with Deric, I sang a song which is very close to my heart and many others, The Parting Glass. This was quite an emotional experience but one I will always treasure! It was then time for the judges to make a very difficult decision on who should progress to the Face of Ireland Final, I feel that the format the competition followed is brilliant and made the judging very fair as they had the opportunity to get to know all of the girls individually which really hones in on the ambassadorial aspect of the Face of Ireland ethos. After some time the judge’s decision was announced and I was delighted to learn that I would be representing Tyrone as a wildcard in the Face of Ireland in Association with Europcar in Dublin.
As one of the finalists on the 2nd of September I went to the Moran’s Red Cow Hotel in Dublin where the final would be held on the 13th of October. This was to be the finalists Entrepreneurial Task Day where I met all of the other finalists and also the executive producer Ed Darragh. We each had to introduce ourselves and tell the girls a little bit about our lives, I found this to be very inspiring as each and every one of the girls really have very different stories, outlooks on life and amazing personal experiences, I most definitely took so much away from this day and really am looking forward to meeting them all again on the Press Release day on Sunday the 30th of September!
Having moved to Birmingham to study Speech and Language Therapy has really opened my eyes to the beauty and warmth that Ireland has to offer to everyone, not only fellow Irish people but to everyone who visits the country. This has also allowed me to see firsthand many aspects of such a successful city as is Birmingham industrially and has given me ideas on how Ireland can develop as it has the potential, I believe to be world leaders in many areas. This competition promotes everything there is Irish and I am so proud to not only be Irish but also be a part of this fantastic competition. Birmingham itself is a fantastic city with endless opportunities but home will always be Ireland!
I would also like to take this opportunity to say a special thank you to a few very important people and companies such as Q101.2 and Stevie King for taking the time to go on air for a live radio interview about the Face of Ireland. Thank you to the Tyrone Constitution newspaper and journalist Robert Pollock for publishing a lovely article on my involvement in the competition, but none of this could be possible without Brian Cunningham and the amazing team at Face of Ireland in Association with Europcar, to you all I am so thankful for everything!
I would also like to include that not only has this competition been an amazing personal experience and one I have so many memories from already but has also been a great chance to get involved in many wonderful charities. The Face of Ireland in Association with Europcar is not just about the girls and one night in October but has so much more to offer to communities all over Ireland, it was the aspect of raising money and awareness for so many charities and a variety of issues that makes this competition what it is. This year’s competition will assist several charities both well known and new such as GRASP (Greater Responsibility & Awareness, Suicide, Prevention) which was set up to assist and deal with people with suicidal thoughts and also to families who have had a member attempt or commit suicide. I would hope to remain involved in the various charity organisations which have been brought to my attention through this competition in the future. The work they do is truly inspirational and have changed my perspective on life!
The opportunities available from Face of Ireland in association with Europcar are fantastic. The prizes on offer to the winner provide once in a life experiences that will live with her always. To represent my country on St Patrick’s Day in New York would be an honour and privilege. To be able to represent my country on the world stage is something dreams are made of and I hope I can make a difference to our great nation.
Hope to see you all in Moran’s Red Cow Hotel in Dublin on Saturday the 13th of October for what is guaranteed to be a night to remember!
My name is Roisin Donnellan. I’m 22 years old, studying Classical Violin Performance at DIT Conservatory of Music. I have been selected as a Wildcard in the final of The Face of Ireland Ambassadorial Search 2013 representing Galway. I thought it would be a bit of craic if I started an actual blog, I think I’m missing out! Everyone seems to be blogging. I’m not even sure if I’m doing this right, whether it will be online or not but I’ll get the hang of it.
I love every minute of this competition. My official Sponsor is iRadio and I would to take this opportunity to thank them for their continuous support over the competition because I am having a ball! I get up really early every single day to try and find sponsorship, or get an interview or get involved with various organisations promoting Irish Culture.
I want the Irish Language to be revived! I am doing everything I can to promote it, along with our wonderful Music, and the Arts.
Tir gan teanga, tir gan anam!
I come from a large family, there are eleven of us in all, my mum and dad included. My mother’s name is Colette and my Dad’s name is Micheal. I have four brothers and four sisters, so Christmas is amazing. It’s the one time of year that everyone is at home together, and we laugh and share stories from our own lives.
My mother is quite an amazing woman. She made sure that each and every one of us got music lessons when we were younger and did all sorts of extracurricular activities. She sometimes jokes that the reason behind it all was that she wanted us out of the house! But I am so grateful for everything she has done.
I was a member of the National Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ireland for 3 years and during that time we played on numerous occasions in the National Concert Hall, and travelled to Scotland and Switzerland. I got to travel to Prague and California playing music and acting in a musical about the progression of Ireland from the Famine, with the Headford District Association. All of these opportunities would not have been possible, if it were not for my wonderful mum. It sounds corny, but hey it’s true.
I started the Violin at the age of 5 years and hated it. I used to detest going to my classical lessons because I never liked to practise. I will always remember one evening, it was an awful night out, windy and rainy. The kind of night that merits a hot choco, a blanket on the couch beside a raging fire. But, I had to go to my lesson.
I started crying my eyes out (7yr old at the time just bear that in mind ) and started saying how much I hated the lessons and violin to Mum.
All she said was: ‘Roisin, what if one day you feel depressed, you will always have your violin to play, it will always be there to cheer you up?!!’ My reply through the thundering rain was ‘ What if I’m depressed learning it!!’ Then we burst out laughing, and got on our way.
From that day forward I learned to appreciate music. I no longer felt lazy about practising, I felt happy. I started traditional lessons with Matt Cunningham and loved it. I love contrasting classical with Jazz and Trad, it sounds so different and it’s so catchy. After I started playing trad, I found Classical much easier. I achieved all of the grades in Violin and the same with classical singing. Once one is able to sight read fast, then singing is a nice extra string to have on your bow.
I had an inspirational teacher Mairead Berrill, who taught me that music is a gift, it should be shared. She believed that I could become a great musician one day and I loved working with her. She is so positive, and knowledgable. Piano was also very important to me, so I did exams in that too. For the past 5 years, I have had my own business teaching children music. I have taught violin, viola, singing and piano. This year however I have taken a break from teaching to focus on other things I want in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but at times it was very demanding, so I have taken a holiday for a year. I do hope to open up my own music school one day perhaps, fingers crossed!
I get to play some music with my brother for the talent part of the competition; I’m playing one of my own compositions called ‘The Aspiring Teabag’. It has a quirky name doesn’t it? It’s about the life of an Aldi/Lidl Teabag, and how it aspires to being either a Lyons Gold Blend, or for all you Barry’s lovers, a Barry’s Teabag.
I am really looking forward to that, perhaps seeing your faces as I call out the name!! I first recorded the ‘Aspiring Teabag’ when I was in Presenation College Headford in Transition Year. A samba band located in Westside Galway, wanted to mix some trad with their sound so I agreed to play with them, and I ended up composing too. We spent 3 days recording and it was a lot of fun.
I actually got a chance to play the Aspiring Teabag for a recital about 3 weeks ago, along with my brother and sister, Fionntain and Caitriona. Caitriona who is a captain in the Irish army, invited us to play for many army functions over the years. This time we were playing at a banquet for a mystery guest (He was a secret for security reasons). The mystery turned out to be General Martin E. Dempsey, the US Joint Chief of Staff, who was a guest of our own Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Sean Mc Cann. General Martin E. Dempsey has been described as the most powerful military figure in the world and was a guest for ‘The Gathering 2012′ in which Notre Dame took on the Navy in the Aviva Stadium. We were very nervous, but it was an amazing experience. We each received a Medal of Appreciation, along with a standing ovation.
I am promoting the Irish Language, our Music and the Arts, with which, I am very involved, as I attended Colaiste Spleodar for 10 years starting as a sudent and finishing as an Ard Cinnire. I used my people skills teaching music, dance and the Irish language to young children, I really enjoyed my time with Sploedar. It really helped with my leadership skills and my confidence.
The Face of Ireland is associated with various charities, Aware, STOP, Solace Cancer Support Unit, My sister Zoe Appeal and GRASP. Today Suicide is a growing worry, so GRASP has never been so important. I have worked with numerous charities over the years, Make A Wish, and Cancer Care West are to name but two that I have played gigs for, one year I decided to get over my fear of heights and did a parachute jump for Make A Wish, in Kildare. It was the scariest most horrifying and amazing experience in my life, and I don’t think I’ll do it again somehow. We raised 5000 euros for the charity.
I am a great admirer of our President Michael D Higgins who has always worked for the Arts. Fionntan and I actually busked for hours in Temple Bar in a flooded Dublin, canvasing for Michael D. All of my family are involved in Music and the Arts, My mother’s name is Colette O’ Shaughnessy, and she is a member of the Headford Drama Group, and Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe. My brother and sister and cousins are all members of St Patrick’s Brass Band. My sister Muireann works for the BBC in Salford. My other sister Eimear is an Artist who has had her own exhibitions, and Fionntan directed an episode of Crimes that Shook Ireland for TV3.
I have a Diploma sna Dana (Cóiriú agus Stáitsiú an Cheoil Thraidisiúnta) and I am currently in my second year at DIT studying violin performance. So all in all, music and acting has given me great opportunities to travel and I think it is very important for me to promote it all as much as I can.
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Many Thanks to all my sponsors:
Monaghans Service Station Headford
Brown’s Dental Technicians
Cambells Tavern Cloughanover
Ryder’s Pharmacy Headford
Flanagans Pharmacy Headford
Heneghan’s Hotel Headford
AC Tyres Headford
Flynn’s of Lackagh
Galvia Design Galway
Ronaldino’s Barber Headford
Link to My Blogsite
My name is Rachelle Liggett and I am waving the flag for the beautiful and historical 'Orchard County' of Armagh in this year’s national final. I am 22 years old and I am studying in Queens University, Belfast presently in the dream of becoming a primary school teacher in the near future.
It's hard for me to actually express in words my feelings on how amazing my time at the Face of Ireland competition has been. I would first of all like to thank Brian, Ed, Derek and all for the Face of Ireland team, and all the sponsors for making my experience completely enjoyable from the start.
I got through at the second semi-final held in Dublin in April. On the morning of the competition I was filled with nervous excitement of the day that lay ahead but any nerves where soon put to rest when I was greeted with big smiles from the other girls downstairs. That was one of the best feelings I will take away with me from the semi-final and which also makes me look forward even more to the grand final.
The girls in this year’s competition are so friendly and have really made an effort to get to know me. Face of Ireland is essentially a family and I have gotten so close to a lot of the girls and organisers. One of the main benefits of Face of Ireland is that it has given me the chance to meet like-minded young women with similar goals, dreams and ambitions as me which is perhaps the main reason we all get on so well together. I have made friends with girls throughout the length and breadth of Ireland which is great as I want to explore and experience more of my country. I have always wanted to visit Galway and now I have the perfect excuse as that is where our the first reunion is taking place!
The rationale of the competition is really relevant to me personally which is why it appealed to me to enter. In my own day to day life I help out with a lot of charities which is why I have the passion to run my own . I am a cancer survivor and would love to inspire others that are currently where I once was to have hope, be strong, be determined and that life is very much a thing to be lived to the fullest. I think it is very admirable and responsible that a competition like Face of Ireland has been developed to challenge and improve the concept of stereotypical ‘beauty’ style competitions for the 21st century woman who wants to make a difference, be a role model and be an advocate of worthy causes such as the STOP and GRASP suicide prevention charity which Face of Ireland personally supports and contributes to.
Because many people admire and aspire to be in such an ambassadorial position like the Face of Ireland winner, it is important that they are good role models and help others. I really praise Brian for giving life to his vision by creating a beauty event whose raison d'etre was to have its candidates and winners actively promote and get involved in the support of many charities. In my opinion Face of Ireland, now in its fifth year, are building a reputation as the most relevant and worthwhile beauty event in Ireland as it is setting a legacy of inner beauty and responsibility.
Personally and professionally I am learning and gaining so much from taking part and with eager anticipation I await the opportunities the grand final will bring. The mere thought of being able to represent myself and my country and be an ambassador abroad fills me with an overwhelming sense of pride. It is the ultimate honour and I would encourage any young woman to grasp an opportunity like this with both hands.
Thank you so much Brian for having faith in me and giving me the opportunity to participate, as getting through to the final has filled me with such confidence, I have gained new friendships and connections throughout Ireland and I have the chance to participate in an event, whose worth in today’s society I passionately believe in.
"The Bannville House Hotel is set on 13 Acres of mature woodland on the Lurgan Road 3 miles from Banbridge. The hotel is easily accessible to all major routes to the Belfast International Airport (Thirty Minutes), Forty minutes from Belfast and on the main (M1) line to the heart of Dublin. The Bannville House Hotel was originally a manor house built in 1916 and converted to hotel in 1975 under the watchful eye of the Hamilton family.
In 2002 the present owners Desmond Graham and Irene Mason purchased the hotel from the Hamilton family and have made it what it is today. The facility offers 20 well appointed large sized bedrooms all with modern facilities. All rooms can accommodate single, double/twin, triple occupancy. Family rooms are also available offering rooms for 4 people with cot facilities. The hotel also offers its Wedding Suite which adds the icing to the cake for any wedding package. All ground floor rooms are accessible for disabled guests and two rooms have been fully adapted to offer all the needs of our disabled guests.
The hotel has built a reputation for good home cooked food served by a fine team of friendly staff. The Aim of the hotel is to continually offer a high standard of cuisine which encompasses an array of traditional and current menu dishes. You have an opportunity to dine in the traditional bar area or in our new conservatory dining room overlooking the beautiful Co. Down countryside."
My name is Emma Hanley. I entered into the Face of Ireland in association with Europcar this year after seeing the wonderful charities the competition had worked with in past years. I myself am very active in community and charity in Ireland, running a youth choir on a weekly basis and working as a fundraiser in the past for charities such as The Irish Red Cross, Banardos, WWF and taking part in events for AWARE, Temple Street Childrens Hospital, among other great causes.
Currently studying English and Geography in St Patrick's College, Drumcondra, It would be my hope to go on to obtain a job in the media as a presenter as I love being in front of a camera and performing. I am described as bubbly and 'a ray of sunshine' by friends and family.
I was selected as one of the wildcards by the organisers of Face Of Ireland and placed into the Grand Final. I have enjoyed the journey so far and am looking forward to the competition on the 13th of October 2012
Well Wisher - Sponsor
My well-wisher is Mc Cormack tyres and my dress for the event was kindly sponsored by Ladies-dress Rentals. I wish to thank both for the wonderful support they have offered me throughout this journey. I would also like to thank all the people who have supported my official social media updates by sharing the wonderful messages of Face of Ireland.
Well-Wisher Sponsor :
Event Strategies was founded in 2006 and since then it has been delivering sustainable, respected business award and conference programmes executed to the most exacting standards and endorsed by industry sectors, sponsors and media partners. These events attract over 3,000 senior business executives annually.
Our sponsors and partners on the these projects have included: Enterprise Ireland, Accenture, PwC, Arthur Cox, Irish Times, the Department of Environment, EPA, Deloitte, Aramark, Irish Independent, Airtricity, KPMG and others.
My name is Shauna Lavelle. I am 23 years of age and I am currently working as a primary teacher in the UK, where I have studied since 2008. I was brought up just outside the village of Bonniconlon, Co. Mayo, alongside my 2 brothers and 2 sisters (I am the eldest). The purpose of this blog is to document in as informative and hopefully interesting way as possible, my experiences as one of 30 finalists of the Face of Ireland ambassadorial search 2012/2013 in association with Europcar.
So then, let me tell you a little bit about the competition.
The main aim of this search is to select a national ambassador who will represent Ireland at national and international events such as the opening ceremony of the New York St Patrick’s Day parade, where this year’s winner will take on a central role. The competition is also focused on working with charities; this year the chosen charity is G.R.A.S.P (Greater Responsibility and Awareness in Suicide Prevention) and one of the challenges set by this year’s judges is to show initiative in helping to fundraise for G.R.A.S.P by selling raffle tickets (details will follow soon), sourcing raffle prizes and generally getting creative in helping out this undoubtedly worthy cause. G.R.A.S.P is a charity set up by founder of S.T.O.P (Suicide, Teach, Organise, Prevent) Mary McTernan who has been an active campaigner and fundraiser in suicide prevention for many years. Part of my responsibility as a Face of Ireland finalist is to help raise the profile of this new charity and promote it’s good work through whichever channel I can. That’s why this blog (along with my facebook and twitter feeds and numerous media appearances) is important. I need YOU to help me raise the profile of the competition and this fantastic charity as well as promoting my own qualities as a potential national ambassador. So please ‘like’, share, post, and comment wherever you can. Your support could literally save a life.
When I was growing up my family and I would be actively involved in the Bonniconlon Agricultural Show. Coming, as I do from a rural and agricultural back ground this was an important part of our community and I am very proud to tell you that the show have kindly offered to sponsor me through to the Grand Final. I would also like to thank Brennan’s Lane Bar & Restaurant, Ballina for their sponsorship throughout the semi-final stage of the competition. I will, of course be representing my home county of Mayo (which, contrary to popular belief of my Scottish friends is not an abbreviation for mayonnaise) and I hope to do them proud.
As part of the Grand Final for this year’s Face of Ireland competition, in association with Europcar, we were given the task of promoting not only the competition itself but also this year’s chosen charity G.R.A.S.P (Greater Responsibility and Awareness in Suicide Prevention), our well wishers and ourselves. This meant making the best use of modern social networking technologies to spread the word amongst friends, family and the wider community.
However, our marketing challenge doesn’t stop there. We have also been asked to generate as much press coverage of our own in the local and national media. So far, my own media exploits have been going well with my story being generally well received by media outlets. To date I have managed to secure published articles in the Mayo Advertiser, The Western People and The Connaught Telegraph. My correspondence with these papers has been more than positive and the articles published were extremely complimentary. I would like to thank the papers and journalists (Toni Bourke, Orla Hearns and Tom Gillespie). I also have another newspaper article due out on Tuesday with the Mayo News and thank you to Ciara Galvin for all of your assistance and support.
I have some exciting news about a live radio interview that will take place tomorrow morning (14th September) between the hours of with Tommy Marren on Mid West Radio 96.1fm. You can listen in live by following this link: http://www.midwestradio.ie/mwr/listen-live.html
Finally a brief word about my charity fundraising:
Over the past days preparations have begun for a fundraising event in my home town of Bonniconlon, top secret right now and details will be revealed later.
In the mean time I am selling tickets (both in the UK and Ireland) for the Face of Ireland Grand Final gala draw in association with Europcar. There are some fantastic prizes up for grabs including:
Tickets for the raffle are €5.00, please contact me for details of how to purchase. Proceeds are in aid of G.R.A.S.P (Greater Responsibility and Awareness in Suicide Prevention). This draw takes place on the night of the finals, Saturday the 13th of October at Moran’s Red Cow Hotel in Dublin.
Funds raised for G.R.A.S.P from my events so far this month = 1212 Euro
Press Achieved September 2012 include;-
September 11th 2012 – Connaught Telegraph
September 14th – Mid West Radio
September 18th – Mayo News
My name is Tracey Coffey, I am 20 years of age born on the 18th of April 1992. I live in Aughacurreen Killarney Co. Kerry. I have two sisters aged 17 and 6 and one brother who is just turned 16. I am currently studying Environmental Health in DIT and I also work part-time (weekends) in Killarney Park Hotel. Since I was very young I always loved doing peoples hair and make-up and love fashion. My dream job would be to become a fashion consultant. After I finish my degree in environmental health I would like to consider studying a fashion and beauty course and maybe open my own boutique or else further my degree in environmental health it is also a job I would have a keen interest in especially in the department of safe food handling and hygiene.
I entered the Face of Ireland to help grow in confidence when presenting myself to the public and to gain experience with people involved in the modelling, fashion and media industry. So far my experience with the Face of Ireland has been exciting and just fantastic meeting such amazing girls each so beautiful inside and out. I am quite young and one of the contests with the least amount experience as I have never competed or entered a competition like this before whereas many of the other contests have and through their experiences I am also learning hearing their stories etc…
Everyone involved in the sat up of the Face of Ireland great credit is due for example Brian, Ed Darragh, Kieron and Derek just some of the many people involved in sure but each of them have been so supportive and willing to help us with any queries or problems we may have. A very important point from my experience so far is that I am far more aware of the harsh reality of suicide and how important it is to support every charity in any way possible. Although I am very nervous I am still so excited to experience the rest of the competition and I wish all the beautiful contestants the very best over the coming weeks and the final.
Clouds Beauty Salon was established on the 17th of May 2000 by the proud owner and highly successful entrepreneur Elaine Murphy. It has been successful now for over 12 years and recently moved into a larger premise. The salon is located on 82 New Street Killarney. The main products offered by Elaine is Thalgo Skincare products aswel as a wide range of beauty treatments such as, waxing, massage, spray tans, nails, facials and many more. Contact details are (064) – 6637981.
Face of Ireland
Hi, my name is Tara Kelly, I am 18 years old and I have just finished sixth form in St Catherine’s College Armagh. I am currently taking a year out from my studies to decide exactly what future career I hope to embark upon.
I am one of 32,000 girls who applied to be the next Face of Ireland. I am representing County Armagh and am honoured to be one of the final 30 contestants. I entered The Face of Ireland competition to broaden my prospects and give me opportunities to meet new and influential people who can help guide me and direct me towards a fruitful and adventurous life.
I am a keen athlete and have participated in sport throughout my school life. I also played camogie for the County Armagh minor team when I was 16 which I am extremely proud of. In my spare time I helped out in my local community as a volunteer. I organise fun days, supervise primary school discos and have been involved in youth schemes where teenagers who are vulnerable to anti- social behaviour, especially around the 12th of July, are taken away from the city on trips to deter them from getting involved with anti-social activity.
I have been actively involved with a charity called the Molly and Mia foundation which was set up in February 2010 in memory of still born twins. This charity has brought about significant changes in hospitals in Northern Ireland by providing memory boxes, hand made premature baby clothes for babies who weigh in at 1lb or less and Moses baskets. These personal touches really help parents when they go through the grieving process and there are around 200 devastated parents in Northern Ireland who have to say good bye to their babies. I recently took part in a relay leg of the Belfast marathon to raise money for this charity and we raised £3,000 which I am also extremely proud of.
I would like to thank my well wisher The West Armagh Consortium, who I am very involved with as a community volunteer. They were set up in 2001 as an umbrella group to strengthen local community associations. It exists to regenerate the west of Armagh and to lobby statutory agencies on behalf of our groups to improve the health, social and economic life of the whole of the people of West Armagh. They organise various health improvement classes and education classes in the local community houses so that those who attend can access them in a familiar environment. They also help to create a social economy of small cottage industries with a means to creating employment and address social deprivation and anti-social behaviour in Armagh.
I would like to say a huge thank you to Armagh City Hotel who have kindly sponsored a nights bed and breakfast for two as a prize for the gala ball, 24/7 fuels and City Training services who initially sponsored me for The Face of Armagh. Bronze Tanning and Beauty, Tan Trim, Cuttin It Hair Salon and Cuttin It Beauty Salon also deserve a big thank you for helping me look so good for my first meeting with the other girls and the producers of the show. Another local business, Robert Paynter men’s wear, has kindly sponsored a tuxedo for my escort who happens to be my brother Michael.
The winner who will be crowned The 2013 Face of Ireland will also win; A BB awards Mullingar Crystal which is a stunning piece representing the heritage of the country. A one week luxury break in Spain, including flights and accommodation for 2 people in February 2013. Five day stay in the City that Never Sleeps New York in March 2013 where you will attend the New York. St Patrick’s Day Parade with a member of the Face of Ireland team and officially launch the parade. 12 luxurious dresses for all those special events (one per month), a professional portfolio photo shoot with Derek Mc Auley Photography where that all important portfolio will be produced of both an indoor and outdoor shoot. 1000 Euros worth of Orchid jewels stunning jewellery. Tanning products for on year, a training session with Avril Mawhinney and her team to include a professional photo shoot. Hair hamper full of wonderful products for a period of one year. A trip for five friends to Donegal to include accommodation and some of the best features that Donegal has to offer.
Also on the night The Face of Ireland are holding a Gala Draw in Association with Europcar. The Gala Prizes include; Flights for Two to Madrid for 7 nights at the spectacular 4 Star Gran Versalles Hotel. Two night’s bed and breakfast with a complimentary evening meal for two at the Mespil Hotel, Dublin 4. Two night’s bed and breakfast at Harvey’s Point Country Hotel, Donegal Town, Donegal. One night break for two at Moran’s Red Cow Hotel, Naas Road, Dublin 22. A luxurious hamper of cosmetics to the value of 500 Euro and a luxurious hamper of hair products to the value of 500 Euro. Tickets for the raffle are 5 euros or £4. The draw takes place on the night of the finals, Saturday 13th October at Moran’s Red Cow Hotel in Dublin and any one interested in purchasing one can contact me through Face Book or The Face of Ireland page or email email@example.com.
Face of Ireland is proud to have a long association with charities such as STOP, Solace Cancer Support Unit, My Sister Zoë Appeal, Aware and now with the tragic increase in incidence of suicide our association with GRASP has never been more important. GRASP stands for GREATER RESPONSIBILITY AND AWARENESS IN SUICIDE PREVENTION. It was set up by Mental Health Professional Mary McTiernan to urge people who are feeling depressed or suicidal to seek help. This is often the hardest thing to do but it is the beginning of the road to recovery. More than 300 people committed suicide in Northern Ireland last year alone and it is an issue that needs to be addressed by all of society.
My name is Amanda Jane McCullough, I am 31, from Ballymena in Co.Antrim, a media graduate and married with three children and I am also one in a set of triplets.
My Face of Ireland journey started in Belfast at the Co. Antrim / Down heat. After winning which I was so shocked about I was nervous to think what lay ahead. Now I’m in the final I am so thrilled to be part of this wonderful experience, I fancied a challenge and boy did I get one.
At the Entrepreneurial task and media training it was lovely to meet all the girls and get such great advice from Ed Darragh and Brian Cunningham. When introducing myself I got a bit emotional when talking about my kids, but enjoyed the experience of talking in front of the camera.
During my campaign leading up to the final I used a range of media to promote myself which included the local newspapers, and Q network radio station which aired on World Suicide Prevention Day. I also had promotional material printed which highlighted the Gala prize draw to help sell tickets and raise awareness of the charity, this also helped promote my sponsors.
I entered the competition because I felt it was a good opportunity to do something worth while outside of my family life. Suicide is such a big issue in today’s society and I am proud to support this year’s charity (GRASP). There are so many people who need to know that there is someone there for them if they need to talk.
Main Well Wisher - Hillview Cosmetic Clinic
Hillview Cosmetic Clinic offers a wide range of rejuvenation medical and beauty treatments including Anti-wrinkle injections, Dermal fillers, Glycolic and Chemical Peels and Permanent Make-up.
It is owned by Pauline McIlrath who is a experienced senior nurse and who has twenty years experience in the medical field. She has worked in the Belfast City Hospital in acute medicine and has also been a clinical nurse trialist during her time there. Pauline has been at the top of her field as a Hospital Specialist covering all of N.Ireland for a Danish pharmaceutical company and has behind her a Degree in Nursing in California. More recently she has been the Non-surgical Clinic Manager for one of Ireland’s largest Cosmetic Surgery and Aesthetic clinics.
Pauline is currently undertaking her post graduate degree in Independent Nurse Prescriber at Bristol University and is a member of the Bristol Association of Cosmetic Nurses and Independent Nurse Practitioners, Harley Aesthetics Group.
As a result of over 30,000 contestants applying for The Face of Ireland competition, we are currently seeking enthusiastic and motivated B2B sales representatives as we continue to expand. This is a highly beneficial commission based remuneration package. The company have a fantastic growth plan and are operating within a dynamic and exciting industry of television and live events. There are also significant longer term progression opportunities within the organisation. 2 years experience in Sales essential. Email us with your CV, photo and contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org
USA Press Loving our Ciara - The Irish Voice (New York) Caught up with Ciara Quinn yesterday afternoon.... great article!
Ciara Quinn on 5th Avenue USA at the New York St Patrick's Day Parade with Parade Boss Hilary Beirne, The Xavier HS Regiment from Manhattan, NYC., and 2.5million of her closet friends. Fact: 250,000 marched in the parade and 2.5 million spectators lined the streets to watch the world's biggest parade..... in glorious sunshine (68 degrees)....
Quick note of thanks to cameraman Philip Boyle, Photographer Michael Chester, Europcar Exec Jon Jerromes, Fiona & Darren at Rogue Model Management.... for a job well done this morning filming Ciara's Farewell at Terminal 2 Dublin Airport ....Ciara's now flying high on a 747 heading west to New York to represent The Face of Ireland at this year's St Patrick's Day Parade New York... Ciara can look forward to a fun filled action packed 5 days and nights schmoozing with New York's finest and elite...from Presidents to movie stars... We'll have some story to tell when she returns next Tuesday.....in the meantime this morning's footage will be up here in a few days..... watch this space.....
Footage of Ciara's Civic Reception at Europcar Terminal 2 Dublin Airport yesterday as she headed out to New York to represent The Face of Ireland at the New York St Patrick's Day Parade. Seen here chatting with Europcar Corporate Manager Jon Jerromes. Ciara will be reporting from the steps of St Patrick's Cathedral (51st Street NY)..Also in this report we speak to Round 1 Wildcard Leanne Hore who helped see Ciara Off.... Brian Cunningham chats with Rogue Model Management Boss Fiona Roche about Ciara's New York Itinerary which includes several star studded events she'll be attending. Cameraman Philip Boyle, Photographer Michael Chester, Report by Ed Darragh ..... more to follow.....
Face of Ireland Sponsor - Orchid Jewels - Online e-Store Now Open; If you're looking for something to buy your mum for Mother's Day (19th March) you're sure to find some stunning pieces of dazzling, affordable crystal jewellery, incorporating Swarovski Elements.
When you purchase on line you can expect your Orchid Jewels within 5-7 days
Click here to buy
Orchid Jewels is the brainchild of former Fair City actor Martina Flynn who is best remembered for her role as tough business executive, Anne Clarke; a part Martina thoroughly enjoyed but Martina and Anne could not be more different. For Martina Flynn Fitzgerald family comes first. Martina took a career break to be mum to both her wonderful children, Naoise and Tom. On Valentines Day Martina and husband Bernard celebrated 14 years blissful marriage.
....Leanne Hore from Co. Wexford will be joining The current Ambassador Ciara Quinn at Dublin Airport on Wednesday 14th March for a celebratory reception to wave off Ciara on her trip to join The New York St Patrick's Day Parade...well done Leanne....well deserved! The next heat will be held at Morans Red Cow Hotel...Friday 20th April.... for details on how to enter go to http://FaceOfIreland.com
FINAL CLUE "The wild card 'Face' is really very bright....she guessed it was herself from clues up to last night... so now we have some time before we film - her true delight..... watch this space for her name in black and white.... " The full name and details of winning wildcard will be announced here over the next few days.... congrats ~~,
Tune into Midweek tonight on TV3...Europcar Face of Ireland 2012 Ambassador Garda Ciara Quinn will be chatting to Colette Fitzpatrick - tonight's topic is Models and their 'Day Jobs'.....Hello Hello Hello!....( a front cover would be good!) we'll have the link up here in the morning - in case you miss it tonight....
CLUE No. 4.... As Candidates wait to hear who the Wildcard is.. One lucky girl can expect our film crew to arrive at the gate - this Friday 24th February! We will be dropping clues here...right across the week; as to the location of where the Wildcard lives... today's clue is... "When the bell tolls this card will go wild...." See you Friday!
CLUE No. 3.... As Candidates wait to hear who the Wildcard is.. One lucky girl can expect our film crew to arrive at her door - this Friday 24th February! We will be dropping clues here...right across the week; as to the location of where the Wildcard lives... today's clue is... "it's no secret that the valley is close to her heart...." good luck!
CLUE No. 2.... As Candidates wait to hear who the Wildcard is.. One lucky girl can expect our film crew to arrive at her door - this Friday 24th February! We will be dropping clues here...right across the week; as to the location of where the Wildcard lives... today's clue is... "And beyond the pale.... you can see a windmill that once stood tall on Vinegar Hill....." good luck!
By Laura Butler
Saturday February 18 2012
MODEL garda Ciara Quinn has revealed that standing up in court to give evidence in front of a judge and jury has helped her with TV appearances since becoming the Face of Ireland.
The Meath native told the Herald that her day job was the best preparation she could ask for when it comes to performing well in telly interviews as a pageant queen.
Ciara, who is based at Store Street garda station in the city centre, said: "I don't get nervous doing TV interviews at all. I've done a good few now.
"I'm used to getting up in court on a regular basis giving evidence in front of large crowds and a judge and to me, that's more nerve wrecking than doing television."
The 26-year-old beauty added: "Working on something like Xpose would be the dream job, to be surrounded by all that glamour all the time. But I don't think I'd leave my current position for anything, it's a long-term job and being in the Garda Siochana was always something I wanted to do."
But the brunette added she will still continue modelling, even when she gives over her Face of Ireland crown in October.
"I'm building in confidence and training myself for catwalk shows and editorial work.
"There are a couple of exciting things in the pipeline and I've a number of castings coming up, so it's all going great at the moment -- I'm excited about it."
Ciara recently signed to the books of new agency Rogue Model Management and is preparing to jet off to the US next month, to feature in the famous New York City St Patrick's Day parade.
The model, who is engaged to Mark Murphy (28), from Cork, will enjoy a seven-day stay in a top hotel in Manhattan before taking part in the festival extravaganza.
"Myself and Mark are going over for a week on March 14 and on the day I'm going to be in the actual parade. It's all quite top secret at the moment but it'll be wonderful -- I've never done anything like that before."
Due to Ciara's hectic schedule with both her policing the capital and her modelling role, she and Mark have been forced to delay their nuptials until next year.
The suspense deepens as a dozen or more of the 1st round Candidates wait to hear who the Wildcard is. After much deliberation the Face of Ireland Team have just come out of the Wildcard Selection Meeting and their decision has been made...One lucky girl can expect our film crew to arrive at your home this day week - Friday 24th February? We will be dropping clues right here across the week...as to the location of where the Wildcard lives... the first clue is...."Beyond a secret garden lies a little pale"....
Lots of Love,
Sophie markham - Dublin semi-finalist x "
Heartfelt thanks to Martina Fallon at Beverly Hills Galway for the stunning dresses Face of Ireland Ambassador Ciara Quinn picked up from their Galway Branch last week. Here are just some of the Beverly Hills dresses Ciara can be seen wearing in recent public appearances;
for more see http://Youtube.com/FaceOFIrl
Kildare.TV sent Jennifer Drennan to meet the girls who have taken part in the first round of “The Face of Ireland”. Jen catches up with the girls to see how they are coping with their nerves. She speaks to show creator Brian Cunningham and also finds out what advice they have been seeking from pervious winner Ciara Quinn. For more information about The face of Ireland visit http://www.faceofireland.com Call us Kildare TV on 045 848848