Rachelle crowned as Miss Ireland

BANBRIDGE trainee teacher, Rachelle Liggett, has been crowned Miss Ireland in the prestigious Miss Earth competition.

The 21-year-old is celebrating after also winning Miss Hillsborough Oyster Pearl 2011 last week and says that these titles are “the icing on the cake.”

She was chosen at the UK and Ireland grand final in England to go on to represent Ireland along with Miss Scotland, England and Wales at the world televised finals in Thailand for three weeks in November.

Said Rachelle, “I will be competing with over 110 girls participating from other countries, making Miss Earth the second biggest beauty pageant in the world with the message of encouraging people to love and care for the planet.

“Miss Earth really takes beauty contests into the 21st century as its aim is to promote beauty with a cause.

“During my year’s reign I will be planting trees, raising funds for their charity projects, attending various environmental activities, promoting a healthy environment in my hometown and educating people on the three Rs - reduce, reuse and recycle.

There were four rounds on the final night. Firstly the girls had to wear a green cocktail dress which they did their interview and speeches in.

Then, in keeping with the spirit of the competition, they had to wear an eco national costume.

Rachelle added, “I will now wear this costume at the Miss Earth world finals as part of the national costume award which offers an instant place in the top 15 out of the 110 countries participating at Miss Earth, hosted in Thailand.

In round three the models wore a white t-shirt designed with a logo, image and message. “Our source of inspiration is the Miss Earth mottos, ‘Green, Glam and Gorgeous’, ‘Green Goddess’ and ‘Beauties for a Cause’, worn along with black hot pants. We also had to design an Environmental message board,” added Rachelle.

Finally, in round four, the girls wore a glamorous evening gown of their choice.

“It was a total shock when I was announced as the winner of Miss Ireland and was chosen to go forward to be an ambassador for Ireland at Miss Earth,” said Rachelle.

“I am very excited about the final as some of the prizes include a three week, all expenses paid trip to Thailand in luxury five star accomodation worth over £40,000. I will also receive £2,500 worth of eco swimsuits from Nikster Eco beachwear. I have received an Eve of St. Agnes natural skin care hamper and I will receive formal dresses of my choice from Promgirl.net and stardust boutique to wear at events at Thailand.