THE spotlight has been fixed firmly on young media student Nollaig Malone over the past week when she not only celebrated her 21st birthday but also her new Miss Limerick title.
The Corbally girl was chosen from 30 girls to be named Miss Limerick 2015 at a glitzy ceremony in Crush 87 nightclub in The Granary in the city centre.
“I really did not expect to win. I am so shocked to have won. I’m just amazed - I feel like I am dreaming,” beamed the 5’8” blonde beauty after she was named the winner.
“When I was about seven I did a charity fashion show that my mom entered me in for St Michael’s rowing club but that’s it - I have no modelling experience.”
Among those cheering her on at the beauty pageant were her mom Madeline Daly, cousins and friends.
Despite her big win, Nollaig kept a lid on the celebrations on Thursday night due to work commitments at Limerick’s Live 95FM where she has been doing work experience.
The real party was on Saturday night when she not only celebrated her win but also her 21st birthday.
Nollaig, a fluent Irish speaker, is studying media through Irish in NUI Galway.
She attended Gaelscoil Sairseal primary school and Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh secondary school.
“I’m just finishing my third year now so I will be going into fourth year in September.”
Nollaig was chosen by a judging panel which included former Miss Limericks Niamh Mulqueen, Grace Walsh, and Shauna Lindsay along with Mr Limerick Sam Cassidy and photographer Dermot Culhane.
“I was extremely proud this year because of the input of the former Miss Limericks,” said Miss Limerick organiser Celia Holman Lee, “we had five previous Miss Limericks involved in it. It shows to me the respect they have for the competition when they are crowned.”
Celia paid tribute to all the contestants including Nollaig who she described as “a real beauty”.
“We had a great bunch of girls again this year and I hope to work with many of them in the future,” she said.
Former Miss Limerick, Lydia Turley, spearheaded the pageant while another former Miss Limerick, Eleanor Fitzgerald, was MC for the evening.
Nollaig will now represent Limerick at the Miss Ireland Miss World competition in July.
“I went in to gain confidence in going in front of people because I am doing a course in media,” she explained. “To be honest, I’m open to anything - I would love to be either a producer for a radio show or a presenter.”
Her style icons include Irish models Roz Purcell and Rosanna Davison, and international models and ‘It girls’ Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid.
“I think Roz Purcell is so influential - her lifestyle and the way she is vegan, I think that’s amazing. I think she is so stunning - it’s just crazy how beautiful she is and since Rosanna Davison won Miss Ireland, I have always adored her.”
Nollaig puts her own slim figure down to good genes and running.
“I run, that’s it! I’m lucky because I’m naturally skinny. I’m a terror - I’m always eating Domino’s. I was saying ‘now I can’t eat anything like that ahead of Miss Ireland’.
“We have a treadmill at home. I try to run between 10 to 20km a week. It helps to keep me fit and I can then eat what I want and I don’t feel guilty which is always great,” she smiled.