Mullingar girl sets her sights on Miss Ireland title

Twenty-year-old Taylor McCormack from Mullingar is a finalist in Miss Westmeath, part of the Miss Ireland competition.

Pursuing a career in primary school teaching, Taylor is a second-year student in DCU studying Education Studies, and says she has always wanted to enter the Miss Ireland competition since she was a young girl.

“I’m really into camogie, fashion and make-up and I’d consider myself really outgoing. I applied for Miss Ireland because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I applied during the first lockdown, and I just thought to myself - just go for it!”

Inspired by previous Miss Ireland winners such as Rosanna Davison and Chealsea Farrell, Taylor hopes to use the platform to convey a positive message.

“Rosanna Davison won it in 2003 and I always looked up to her. When I got on Instagram and social media, she was one of the first people I started following.

“About two years ago a girl from Laois won it, Chelsea Farrell, and she vlogged her whole journey of her charity work, how she got to get her message across about positive mental health, and that just inspired me - how she used her platform, not just for beauty and make-up, but for mental health.

“Aoife O’Sullivan from Dublin won it the year before last and she got to go over to Thailand and meet all these different girls from all over the world, and that’s just something I’d love to do.

“These uncertain times have changed my mindset completely and they have made me more aware of the importance of self-care. It is so important to be positive as much as possible and that’s the message I want to convey. Positive mental health is vitally important for all ages, I would like to use my Miss Westmeath platform to promote this.”

Lockdown

Applying for the competition in lockdown has helped Taylor through a very strange year, as she is now attending college online.

“I’m the type of person who’s just a social butterfly and it’s been very tough. I used to commute up and down to college, and while I hated commuting, I just loved being up in DCU, meeting everyone and going for lunch.

“I find there’s absolutely no routine so this competition has really helped me.

“Even though Miss Ireland events cannot take place at the moment because of the restrictions, I’ve made so many friends from all different counties, and it’s really boosted my confidence.

“We’ve all met up online, and while it’s not the same as in person, every week we try and do a Zoom call.

“We also did a no-make-up challenge for Ireland AM for children’s charity, Variety. There’s something different every week and that really keeps you going apart from online college.”

Positive role model

Taylor has always surrounded herself with positive female role models, “I have two sisters, one younger and one older”, but she says her ultimate role model is her granny Marie O’Donnell.

“From a young age I’ve always been a ‘nana’s girl’. Three years ago she got sick and had to have a heart operation, so I made the decision to move in with her and ever since then we just get on like a house on fire.”

Taylor explains that the last Westmeath contestant to win the Miss Ireland title was Elaine Rosemary O’Hara in 1976. One of the world's largest running beauty pageants, the winner of Miss Ireland will go forward to represent the country in the Miss World competition.

But it’s not just a beauty pageant as Taylor explains.

“There are many other tasks which the winner must compete in to win the crown, there’s an emphasis on work-ethic, interview, fashion, sports, talent and social media skills.”

Sponsoring Taylor in the competition is Profile Hair Design, in conjunction with SJF Productions for photography,.

To vote for Taylor, simply download the Miss Ireland app from the App Store. Each person is allowed one free vote.

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