Alison Dyer from Portarlington, winner of Miss Laois 2021
The Miss Laois winner has been announced as nurse and science student Alison Dyer from Portarlington.
Alison who is sponsored by Laois business Blush Beauty Bar, now goes on to compete in the Miss Ireland event, and if she is chosen as winner, the career defining Miss World pageant.
She shared her delight with the Leinster Express and revealed her chosen charity for the final.
"I am delighted to have won Miss Laois and I am very excited to go onto the Miss Ireland final. I am determined to create many opportunities for myself but most importantly, just have fun!
"My ‘beauty with a purpose’ project for Miss Ireland is coming together nicely. I have decided to work with the local charity SOSAD, a non-for-profit mental health charity who provide counselling and bereavement services to those affected my mental health. The midlands and Laois in particular have limited access to these essential services so I am very proud to be working with SOSAD to help fund their new office which will be based in Portlaoise. We are running a virtual talent show with celebrity quest judges to raise funds which will be used to provide these essential services from the new Portlaoise location," Alison said.
She was chosen out of three finalists as part of the first wild card event which had 12 finalists. The other Laois finalists were Sarah McDonnell also from Portarlington, and Halle Courtney from The Heath.
The online virtual final saw each entrant submit their introduction videos, catwalk selection videos and charity videos which where all reviewed by a panel of judges who then interviewed each contestant via zoom.
Judges on the night were former Miss Ireland finalists and the evening was hosted by Brendan Marc Scully.
She is a daughter of Phil and Martin Dyer who run a furniture upholstery and manufacturing business in Portarlington. Alison attended Coláiste Íosagáin.
Before the result was announced, Alison had told the Leinster Express about herself and why she entered.
"I am completing a Master’s in biotechnology in UCD, which I am enjoying. Its challenging but interesting. I am also a qualified General Nurse, I trained in St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin (throughout the pandemic) and graduated from UCD in 2020."
Alison says she was inspired to enter by growing up watching America's Top Model.
"I want to step outside my comfort zone. I want to live my life to the fullest, have the most fun and try loads of new opportunities. I am determined to make great memories and live a fun life. Entering the Miss Ireland competition is equally as scary as it is exciting but who knows what good could come from it. At the very least, I will have a platform which I will put to good use, highlighting important issues like mental health and supporting others. I like to think I’m pretty normal and relatable, maybe entering could inspire others. I always watched America’s next top model growing up and wished I could be involved, so this competition is as close as I can get in lovely Laois. I am excited to see what opportunities I can create for myself from this competition."
She said what it would mean to win.
"I would be the most exciting thing ever, to win Miss Laois and go onto compete in Miss Ireland because I believe I have a lot of life-experience and good advice to offer and that I would be a good role model. It would mean that I would broaden my platform which would allow me to reach more people when working towards important goals and discussing important topics ikemental health. I would love to be the representative for my lovely little county, I think that I can make them proud."
She said that the Miss Ireland competition is supportive for women and for good causes.
"This competition has a huge focus on charity work, so having fun whilst raising Money for good causes seems like the perfect opportunity for me. I have already worked with Pieta house, Variety Ireland, Coolmine and P.A.T.H charities since beginning my journey with Miss Ireland and I can’t wait to get involved with more.
"I can’t speak for all competitions, but Miss Ireland is a supportive organisation that helps women build a platform which they can use to bring awareness to social causes. It’s great for building confidence, becoming better at public speaking, networking and meeting new people. Many great women such as Rozanna Purcell, Holly Carpenter, Rosanna Davison and Andrea Roche have taken part in Miss Ireland have then gone on to do amazing things afterwards like write books, set up modelling agencies, launch clothing collections and build brands for themselves. The opportunities are exciting and endless, who knows where it could lead me and what good I can do from this starting point.
She described some of her own charity efforts.
"In the first lockdown I completed half a million steps in the #steppingoutoflockdownchallenge and raised almost €400 for Pieta House. At Christmas time, I took part in the Christmas sandwich bag appeal which my local charity P.A.T.H were running, this involved collecting essential supplies like toothpaste, wipes, deodorant and making care packages which were given to homeless people. Myself and the Miss Ireland contestants recently created an activity fundraiser called the ‘get up 2 move challenge’ , where people were invited to create a two minute video doing any activity/exercise and donate €5 to pieta House to be in with the chance of winning a €100 one for all voucher. I learned how to roller skate for this challenge, the aim was to
encourage people to be active and get some fresh air to benefit their mental health. For St. Patricks day all the Miss Ireland girls took part in a challenge to show off our beautiful counties. That was a fun challenge and it allowed me to share a few of my favourite places in Laois like Emo Court, Derryounce Lake and Garryhinch woods," Alison said.
Alison is also thankful for the community support for her.
"I think the best part so far has been the volume of support I have received from all the people in my town and in Laois. I get so many encouraging and supportive messages, its just been so positive. I think it may have come as a surprise to people that I would enter this type of competition, so its nice to see such a positive response. Voting for Miss Laois is now live on the Miss Ireland app and so many people who I don’t even know are voting for me, to support a fellow Laois woman or because they know my parents. They community spirit is most definitely there, the support is fantastic.
"Getting to know all the girls from the other counties has been brilliant, they really are amazing. I always love to make friends everywhere I go and this competition has given me that opportunity, it will be even nicer when we can eventually meet up in person," she said.
Her interests including modelling, social media and travel.
"I love all things creative painting, singing (even though I’m no good) fashion and styling outfits, I post daily outfits and
fashion inspiration on my Instagram page. I enjoy modelling, I would do a photoshoot everyday If I could. I have worked with some brilliant Irish photographers, specifically a local photographer Con Murphy, the photographs which can be seen on my Instagram page are just amazing.
"I enjoy being active on social media, which has opened many doors for me to work with many fashion and beauty brands. I am currently a brand ambassador for bBold tan, I get to work with Irish fashion brands such as Loro and Texas Tom and I have some other exciting adventures currently in the works. Pre-covid I loved to travel, I spent all last summer travelling exploring Dubai, Indonesia, Bali and I did a road trip along the west coast of America. Made enough memories to last a lifetime."
Follow her on Instagram @alison.dyer.X
The grand finale of Miss Ireland will take place later this Summer.The winner of Miss Ireland will take part in the 70th Miss World festival which will take place in the Caribbean Island of Puerto Rico in December. To follow all the 2021 finalists journey
download the free Miss Ireland APP .
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