As the new Miss Derry was officially crowned last week, she had nothing but admiration for her predecessor Ashleigh Coyle, who is currently a star on Channel Five’s Big Brother.
The newly crowned Miss Derry, Dearbhla Walsh, said Ashleigh has been an inspiration to her and has helped and encouraged her along her own path. Receiving her crown, Dearbhla said she hoped that all the people in the North West will now vote for Ashleigh on her reality tv journey and show their support to the woman she described as “an outstanding ambassador for the city.”
Speaking after receiving her crown, Dearbhla said she was overwhelmed to have won the Miss Derry title.
She said: “It is a very emotional time for me and my family, we all cried uncontrollably, tears of joy. Derry is a big part of our lives.”
Dearbhla is student studying a BSc in Quantity Surveying. She said it has always been her dream to represent Derry in the Miss Ireland competition. The 20-year-old said she hoped to return to Derry as Miss Ireland and follow in the footsteps of former Miss Derry winners who went on to win the coveted national title.
She added: “I am honoured and so very proud to be representing Derry in the Miss Ireland competition held in Dublin on July 19. I will do my best to make the city proud.”
Dearbhla is the daughter of Siobhan McCafferty-Walsh from Oakfield Road in Derry where Dearbhla’s grandparents Marie and Barry still reside.
As part of her winning prize package,Dearbhla was given a modelling contract with CMPR modelling agency based in Belfast, whose managing director is Cathy Martin, who also has Ashleigh Coyle, Charlotte Rose Coyle, Rebecca Maguire (former Miss Ireland) and Sarah Kennedy (runner up in Britain & Irelands next top model) on her books.
Dearbhla has also won her Miss Ireland dress which will be designed for her by Lynsey Mc Garrigle; an up and coming young fashion designer whose brand is ‘Mo Hawk Fashion Designs’ who was a Miss Ireland finalist herself and is from Strabane.
Dearbhla was also fortunate to have won the services of personal trainer Lisa McDevitt. Lisa is a frequent competitor in Miss Bikini competitions worldwide. Dearbhla also benefits from the expertise of well-known Derry based freelance Make-Up artist, Charlotte Rose Coyle.
Dearbhla said that with Charlotte’s vast make-up experience she would be putting her ‘best face’ forward in Miss Ireland.
Dearbhla took the opportunity to thank Syenna Hairdressing Pump Street Derry, especially Sarah, Selena & Anne. “Syenna Hair & Beauty has throughout the last two years been instrumental in launching my modelling career and have given me many opportunities to model within the North West,” she added