Inishowen model Layla Doherty decided to enter this year’s Miss Earth Ireland beauty pageant to bring further focus on the mica scandal.
Layla, from Ballyliffin, is one of four young Donegal women through to the final of the prestigious annual contest, which takes place in Galway this Saturday May 27.
The 21-year-old retail assistant, student and freelance model says she’s honoured to represent her county and to help raise more awareness of the mica cause, something she knows all about.
“I live in a mica house and it’s something that I’m definitely passionate about. Miss Earth Ireland gives me a platform to raise awareness and it will always be something I’ll advocate for. I also get the chance to touch on issues like tourism, which is also being affected by mica.”
Layla further explains: “Miss Earth Ireland’s advocacy is environmentalism, preservation and conservation. Their message is ‘Beauties for a Cause’.”
“When I thought of the basics, for example recycling, I thought on my own hometown and what we’re experiencing up here with mica and how we’re unintentionally recycling and upcycling and how more eco-friendly housing structures are being looked into.”
A daughter of Donna and Pat Doherty, Layla is no stranger to pageants, having won the title of Miss Donegal North in the Miss Ireland Final 2021.
She’s delighted to have reached the Miss Earth Ireland showcase too.
“I always loved following pageants and Miss Earth looked like so much fun and really well organised. I am over the moon to have even come this far. Every single girl who has gotten through is amazing and it’s definitely going to be a tough competition.”
And if she’s successful in Galway next month, Layla will qualify for the world finals in Vietnam.
“To win would be an absolute dream come true; to represent Ireland at the world finals would be an absolute honour.”
“As always, I’m extremely proud to represent Donegal. We’re definitely a forgotten county and I’m excited to promote