Layla Doherty, who has just been crowned Miss Earth Ireland 2023, says she doesn’t “even have words” to describe the feeling of winning.
Layla, from Ballyliffin, won the national title in Galway on Saturday night and will now go forward to represent Ireland at the World Finals in Vietnam in November.
Miss Earth is one of the ‘Big Four’ [Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss International] international beauty pageants, with almost 100 countries across the globe taking part.
In addition to winning the overall Irish title, Layla has also won a VIP trip to Barcelona, a modelling contract with Catwalk Model Agency, an ambassadorship with Pure Boutique and a whole host of other brand endorsements.
She is understandably thrilled by it all. “I put my life and soul into this competition and I am delighted that it has paid off. I don’t even have words to describe this feeling; it’s just so surreal.”
“I don’t think it has even hit me yet but I am so proud to represent Ireland at the World Finals in Vietnam. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m so grateful.”
Competing against twenty other girls from around the country, Layla wowed the judges with her beauty, while her personality and passion for her environment also shone through.
Highlighted mica issue
The conscientious 21-year-old bravely used her platform to further highlight the defective concrete blocks issue at the grand final in Galway.
Layla’s home is one of those affected by the scandal. “I am absolutely thrilled that my voice was heard last night and that something positive came from speaking on mica,” she explained.
A daughter of Donna and Pat Doherty, Layla has been overwhelmed by the reaction to her stunning win.
A welcoming party on Sunday evening escorted her on the final leg of her journey home from the North Pole bar to the Maple store in Ballyliffin, where she works.
“I don’t think I could’ve achieved this without the help of all the amazing people I’m surrounded by. I was sponsored by my dad which meant so much.”
“I work at Maple Ballyliffin and my boss Margaret, my colleagues Helena, Elaine, Eve and mum really gave me my best shot and were so supportive the whole way through.”
“Shay, my boyfriend, was the best support system I could’ve ever had and backed me the whole way through. I am truly surrounded by the most amazing family and friends.”
‘I hope I make everyone proud’
Layla, who is currently on a gap year from college, is now gearing up for a busy second-half of 2023, which is already shaping up to be a year she’ll never forget.
“I have a very exciting and busy year going forward with heading off to Vietnam and a trip to Barcelona.”
“As part of my prize I have been signed with Catwalk Model Agency, who I have followed for such a long time and really looked up too.”
“I can’t wait to see what’s to come and I really hope I make everyone proud,” Layla smiled.
Alan Murphy, organiser of Miss Earth Ireland, described her as a most worthy winner.
“Miss Earth Ireland aims to build its reputation as the most relevant and worthwhile beauty event in the country, setting a legacy of beauty and responsibility.”
“We were overwhelmed with the contestants this year however Layla was definitely a clear winner. We cannot wait to work with her for the year and see her shine on the international stage in Vietnam.”