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27/09/2021

Miss Laois set to skydive for Laois SOSAD suicide support centre

Miss Laois set to skydive for Laois SOSAD suicide support centre

Alison Dyer from Portarlington, Miss Laois 2021. Photo: Con Murphy

Daring Alison Dyer, the reigning Miss Laois, is all set to parachute out of an aeroplane for a local suicide support charity. 

Alison, 24, from Portarlington, is about to represent Laois in the Miss Ireland pageant on September 5.

In the meantime the science student is waiting for the right weather to do a parachute jump at Clonbullogue Airfield, for the SOSAD charity.

The right weather is hard to find, as she told the Leinster Express.

"I have gone out twice, the first time I waited for six or seven hours and the second time for a couple of hours, with all my family waiting to see me jump too, my mam and dad Phil and Martin and my sister Melanie. I hope to go again soon, but it all depends on the weather. If it's too cloudy they won't do the jumps because they can't see through the cloud where to land. 

"I am really looking forward to it, I get all excited to do it, the next time I am definitely bringing food though!" she said.

Below: Alison with her dad at the airfield.

Alison is asking people to donate to her Gofundme account, to raise money for SOSAD, who are going to open a Laois drop in centre in Portlaoise for people in mental distress or experiencing suicidal thoughts.

"I have worked with several charities so far as part of the Miss Ireland journey. SOSAD feels so important, it is giving directly to our own community. Laois is always falling through the cracks for mental supports, the nearest Pieta is in Mullingar and there is a waiting list there. We really do need to have something in every county," she said.

She has paid the €350 cost out of her own pocket to do the parachute jump, so that every cent donated will go to her cause, with €515 raised so far.

Alison is a qualified nurse but returned to study a Masters in biotechnology. She is now on work placement with Astra Zeneca.

"I am a medical affairs intern, I am much happier now, nursing wasn't for me," she said.

She is busily preparing for the high stakes Miss Ireland final where she will be among 30 finalists. The new Miss Ireland will go on to the glittering Miss World festival in Puerto Rico in December, plus a lucrative agency contract and a host of prizes including jewelry, gowns, a professional photo shoot, beauty and hair products.

"We are doing photoshoots and dance rehearsals and I'm getting my dress fitted with a designer in Dublin. Everyone has been very supportive. We have all met each other now. Much of the preparations were online but now it is all starting to happen in real life. I've made so many friends already and am working with charities and that's what it's all about," she said. 

Alison is a graduate of Coláiste Iosagáin in Portarlington, and she thanks Lydia Maher, her local sponsor who helped her to win the Laois title is Blush Beauty Bar in the town.

Sponsor Alison for her parachute jump below. 

See Alison's fundraising account here.  

You can still vote for her with the votes going towards judges decisions on the night, by downloading the Miss Ireland app. 

Follow Alison's progress on instagram here. 

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