The final of the Miss Louth 2017 competition will be held later on this evening – and there’s two local ladies in contention for the top prize and the chance to take part in the nationwide Miss Ireland event later this year.
19-year-old Chelsea Halpenny from Ferdia Park will be joined by Chelsea Farrell, 17, from Ardee as the local representatives hoping to come away with the winning tiara at tonight’s glitzy ceremony.
A total of 10 girls will take part in Miss Louth tonight, with this year’s event sponsored by Scotch Hall Drogheda. Chelsea Halpenny is a third level photography student while Chelsea Farrell is about to start sixth year in St Louis Secondary School in Carrickmacross.
The winner of the Miss Louth finals will go on to represent the county in the Miss Ireland contest, the longest running pageant in Ireland. Having began in 1947, it’s celebrated 70 years in existence this year. From the very beginning, Miss Ireland has been the starting point for many young women who have gone on to create successful careers. Many former contestants have described the experience as empowering – using it to help to build their confidence and self-esteem and hone their interview and media skills.
Miss Ireland 2015 Sacha Livingstone and Miss Northern Ireland 2015 Leanne McDowell are among this year’s judging panel for the Miss Louth event which is being held at The Four Season’s Hotel in Carlingford tonight.
Miss Louth took a break in 2016 but previous winners of Miss Louth include Melissa Shanley in 2015, Fionnuala Short in 2014, Kerri Cahill (2013), Amira Graham (2012) and Yasmin Hamouda (2011). 2014 winner Short finished second runner-up in the Miss Ireland pageant that year.
Ardee itself has some recent history in the pageant market. During the short lived Ardee Turfman Festival, a Festival Queen was crowned each year in an event held at Luna Nightclub.
Marita Weldon, Leoni Conroy, Nicole Finnegan, Aoife Rogers, Louise Flanaghan were the winners from 2009 to 2013.