Buncrana’s Grainne Gallanagh makes history at Miss Universe contest

Grainne Gallanagh reacts with delight after being placed in the top 20 at Miss Universe.
Grainne Gallanagh reacts with delight after being placed in the top 20 at Miss Universe.

A Buncrana woman has made history for Ireland after placing in the top 20 in the world and the top five in Europe in the Miss Universe contest.

Stunning Grainne Gallanagh, the reigning Miss Universe Ireland, competed in the contest in Thailand on Sunday night (our time) and made the country proud.

One of the favourites in the 94 women representing their countries from around the world, Grainne was “ecstatic” to place in the top 20 and top five in Europe.

This was Ireland’s first back to back placement and Miss Universe Ireland organisers were over the moon with the Inishowen woman’s achievement.

Grainne appeared on stage in front of hundreds of thousands of people watching across the world and used her platform to speak about and advocate for better services for women’s health.

As a nurse, who works in a women’s health clinic in London, this is something she feels particularly passionate about.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’ yesterday, Grainne described the entire Miss Universe experience as “amazing.”

She said: “I can’t explain how surreal it feels to be at Miss Universe. It has been my dream for so long. I have met some absolutely amazing women that I consider to be really good friends of mine now. I was ecstatic when I placed. This is Ireland’s first ever back-to-back pageant placement and I’m so proud that I helped achieve that.”

She added: “The support that I have had from everyone at home has been phenomenal. I can’t even express how grateful I am. It actually makes me emotional every time I’m on social media and I have this overwhelming wave of love and kindness directed toward me. I couldn’t be more proud of what I have achieved. Right now, I’m going to Australia for Christmas with my family and I don’t really know what is up my sleeve next, but I do know I want to continue with my platform of female health and continue to be a role model for younger women.”