The two local ladies taking part in Tuesday’s Miss Louth competition finished very close runners up as Dundalk’s Emma Griffith emerged victorious as this year’s winner.
The win marks a big seven days for Griffith, who is beginning her studies at Maynooth University in September having received her Levaing Cert results last week. She was awarded the winner’s tiara and sash at the glitzy event at The Four Season’s Hotel in Carlingford.
But she only just managed to pip the two contestants from Ardee – with Chelsea Halpenny from Ferdia Park (pictured, above left) finishing first-runner up and 17-year-old Chelsea Farrell (pictured, above right) named second runner-up on the night.
A total of 10 girls took 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.
Griffith will go on to represent the county in the Miss Ireland contest, the longest running pageant in Ireland. It launches this coming Thursday (August 24th) at Krystle Nightclub on Dublin’s Harcourt Street.
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 joined copmpetition organiser Niamh McKeever on this year’s judging panel for the Miss Louth event last night.
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. Deidre Ardee woman Deirdre Callan (now MacCormack) won the Miss Louth title in 1994 and 1995. Additionally, 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.