This week has been a roller coaster ride for pretty 22 year old Sarah Kennedy from Portnoo who was crowned Miss Donegal at a ceremony Ink Nightclub Letterkenny recently. “I am over the moon. I am absolutely thrilled. I cannot believe how good people are. The phone is hopping at home,” she said.
Studying a bachelor degree in business management at the Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) Sarah moved into her picturesque parents home last week. The second youngest of a family of four, Sarah finds her home environment a calming influence during a week which will see her compete to become Miss Ireland in Dublin. The stunning brunette also faces into a batch of exams the following week. This week, she was attempting to balance her studies with her shopping, publicity and planning her Dublin trip.
“There were six of us in the competition in Ink. I was told the competition was taking place so I entered. I had missed the first heat. When the second competition came up, I said ‘why not?’ and entered. It was something that I always wanted to do. I just had to gather the confidence and the courage to do it. I think that a lot of girls would love to do it. I am so excited about every aspect of it. This has been one of my lifelong ambitions,” she said.
During the competition in Ink, Sarah initially came face to face with a panel of judges. She was later interviewed on stage ahead of the bikini round. They then changed into their cocktail dresses before changing into their gowns ahead of the crowning.
“My two best friends, Marie McCafferty and Melissa Brown came along to support me. My mother, Brid Kennedy and my sister Caroline Kennedy was also there. My cousin Brenda and her husband Anthony Bonner also came along in support. It was so nice to have a group of people supporting me, it certainly calmed me and made it easier when I was taking part,” she said.
When asked, why she would like to represent the county at All Ireland level she had plenty to say. Speaking from her heart she said that it would be a priviledge and an honour to represent the county and that it would be an honour to do so.
“I could hear all my supporters cheering me on and it was great to know that they were in the audience. Why would I be chosen as Miss Donegal and why should I represent Miss Donegal in Miss Ireland? Because I am very proud of Donegal and I would like to hope that I would represent Donegal as best as I can, I just think it is a privilege and an honour,” she said.
Sarah is the second youngest of four, she has two brothers, Michael and Hugh and an older sister Caroline. She is the daughter of Brid and Michael Kennedy who live in Portnoo.
“I am a beautician, I qualified three years ago. I am now studying business management at the LYIT. I went back to college because I realised that during these difficult economic times it would be of great benefit to me to improve my business skills,” she said.
Today, Sunday, Sarah will go to Dublin to meet with organisers of the national competition. To date, she has been sent details of her weekend in the capital which will stretch from Thursday, April 26 to Sunday 29.
“The final takes place on Saturday night. My exams take place the week after the event. I still have to stop and take a breath and think that I am going to be in the final. Every single day there are things for me to do. I am confident that I can juggle the exams and the finals. They are both great opportunities so I am going to juggle both. It is a busy busy weekend they have e-mailed us our schedule,” she said.
The finals will be held in the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin and Sarah’s mum and dad will accompany her. “They want to be there. It will be a great weekend for them too. It will be good for me to know that they are there. They are a calming influence,” she said. with me.
This has been one of my life long ambitions.
Should Sarah prove successful she will journey to Bulgaria alongside many other beautiful girls. “I am proud to be an ambassador for my county if I was successful and was given the opportunity to represent the country in Bulgaria, I would do my very best. It is hard to even think of Miss World, that is such a huge competition,” she said.
Sarah has not chosen the dress that she will wear for the Dublin competition yet but when she finally gets the dress she is certain that everything else will fall into place. “Nothing is set in stone just yet. Once I have the dress everything else will fall into place. I am so excited about the dress,” she said.
At the moment the bubbly Portnoo girl feels like she is living someone else’s life and she finds herself getting emotional when she recieves an e-mail, a Facebook or a text of goodwill. “I cannot believe how good people are. Lisa McDevitt who took part in Miss Donegal is my mentor and she is absolutely fabulous. I really don’t know what I would do without her. It is a very scarey time as well and to have someone with the experience volunteer to help you means so much,” she said.
Anyone who like to contact Sarah Kennedy and support her can do so through Facebook and clicking like on Miss Donegal2012.