Ulster Life is proud to announce that Rebekah Shirley has been crowned the 2014 Open + Direct Miss Northern Ireland winner at a glittering black tie event at the Europa Hotel, Belfast on Monday 12th May.
The stunning 18-year-old student from Ballymoney impressed the panel of judges on the night with her beauty, charm and personality – giving her the winning edge over twenty-five other finalists, to acquire the coveted crown from previous titleholder Meagan Green.
The exclusive gala final was a glamorous affair hosted by UTV’s Marc Mallet and former Miss Northern Ireland and television presenter, Joanne Salley.
Contest organiser and Managing Director of top Belfast modelling agency ACA Models, Alison Clarke said: “We are thrilled that Rebekah has won the title. Although the standard of talent has been extremely high this year, Rebekah has really sparkled throughout the contest and she certainly wowed the judging panel on the night.”
Winner Rebekah said: “I am absolutely delighted to wear the Miss Northern Ireland crown and be given the opportunity to represent Northern Ireland in this way! Taking part in the contest has been such an immense experience and I never thought I would come this far.
“I’ve always looked up to previous Miss Northern Ireland winners, so I hope to follow in their footsteps and become a positive role model for other local girls. Winning this title is undoubtedly life-changing and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me!”
Colin McEvoy, Head of contest sponsor Open + Direct said: “Everyone at Open + Direct’s 15 branches across Northern Ireland has been cheering on their local finalists but we’re delighted that Rebekah has taken home the top prize. Rebekah demonstrates the perfect balance of charm and beauty, which marks her out as the perfect ambassador for Northern Ireland. Everyone at Open + Direct wishes her all the best in her campaign for the Miss World title.”
On handing over her title, the 2013 winner Meagan Green said: “I’ve had an incredible year as Miss Northern Ireland. It’s been a real honour to be the face of Northern Ireland and I’ve gained so much from my experience. It’s with a heavy heart that I relinquish my crown, but I am so happy to be passing it to Rebekah, who is a deserving winner. I wish her all the very best for her year as Open + Direct Miss Northern Ireland.”
Rebekah will receive an extensive prize package worth thousands of pounds including a year’s modelling contract with ACA Models, an all-expenses paid trip to Miss World in London, a Kia car from Downey’s taxed, and insured for a year by Open + Direct, a new designer wardrobe provided by Blush Boutique and beauty treatments throughout the year.
Top finalists on the night included Anna Henry, aged 19 from Ulster Life’s home town of Portglenone who came second in the contest and Sophia Adli, aged 22 from Belfast who was placed third.
For further information on the contest and finalists, please visit www.missnorthernireland.co.uk