Late Late Show appearance for Buncrana entrepreneur tonight

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A young Buncrana entrepreneur is to feature on tonight’s Late Late Show.

Elizabeth O’Donnell, who runs Junk Kouture - an all Ireland competition which challenges second level students to create high fashion outfits from recycled everyday junk - is to be interviewed by presenter Ryan Tubridy on tonight’s show.

Her appearance on the RTE flagship programme will follow the Grand Final of European Recycling Project-sponsored Junk Kouture 2012 competition, which takes place at 4pm today in Dublin’s City West Hotel. Elizabeth, who founded Junk Kouture in 2010, will announce the overall winners of this year’s competition and the top four finalists will get their chance to showcase their winning designs to the nation.

The Junk Kouture competition is designed to subtly educate second level students about recycling while at the same time inspiring them to create something fashionable and wearable. More than 2,500 students have taken part over the last two years and 5,000 more have attended Junk Kouture shows. Elizabeth described the growth of the competition over the last two years as “incredible”. The highlight of the former Scoil Mhuire student’s career so far was the company’s invitation to the Royal Film Premiere of Martin Scorsese’s ‘Hugo’ in London last November. “It was an incredible night all round and greatly increased the profile of what we are doing. Some of our models got to showcase their home-made glamorous dresses made entirely out of old junk that normally people would throw away,” Elizabeth said.

She added: “The 2013 competition promises to be even bigger, as we have plans to get involved in the City of Culture in Derry and bring the Grand Final of Junk Kouture 2013 to the North West. This would mean so much to me, considering I have lived most of my life in Buncrana.”

Elizabeth said she was “especially delighted” that eight of the national finalists this year are from Donegal and three of them from her home town: ‘Battle of the Sexes’ by Orla O’Hagan and Aoife Porter from Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana; ‘Curiouser Couture’ by Amy Hegarty from Abbey Vocational School, Donegal town; ‘Dangerously Denim’ by Fiona McShane, Shona Breslin, and Catriona McShane of Carrick Vocational School; ‘It Girl’ by Heather Duff, Kate Haley and Ciara Haley from Loreto Community School, Milford; ‘Pretty Metal’ by Emma Ferguson, Shona McLaughlin and Alana Fullerton from Crana College, Buncrana; ‘Shooo’ by Michael Galbraith, Michelle Harkin and Sophie Collins from Crana College, Buncrana; ‘Short Circuit’ by Clodagh Barry, Catherine Donnelly and Leona Burns from Deele College, Raphoe; and ‘Electric 20s’ by Alannah Scott, Eilis Ni Bhraonain, Niamh Kuncaitis from PCC Falcarragh. “They’ve all done their schools, and Donegal, proud.