Three Lurgan girls are getting set to pack their cases after being named the winners of the Face of Northern Ireland contest.
Ciara DeCarteret, Maebh Meehan and Katie McGibbon surpassed all expectations when they overcame competition from right across the country to scoop the top titles.
This year marked the fourth anniversary of Face of NI, which encourages contestants to raise money for charity while competing for the opportunity to represent Northern Ireland in Paris. The two chosen charities for the 2015 competition were Headway Brain Injury Association and local organisation, Down’s & Proud.
Katie McGibbon, who is ten years old, took home the junior title as well as being named the overall Miss Charity - after raising a magnificent £1,900.
“The final was amazing. I couldn’t actually believe it - everybody was beautiful!”
The St Anthony’s pupil is now looking forward to travelling to Paris with the other winners in November:
“I can’t wait to go! I was in Paris when I was four, but I had a bug so I didn’t get to do too much - hopefully I won’t be sick this time! My mummy, auntie and my cousin are going with me.”
Katie worked extremely hard for her Miss Charity title, organising a sponsored walk, a raffle, and a non-uniform day in St Anthony’s Primary School. There were 31 finalists in the contest and, altogether, they managed to raise an incredible £13,800.
Fourteen year old Maebh Meehan won the teen section, setting her on track to pursuing her dream of a career in modelling.
“I entered the competition because I thought it would be great experience,” the Year 11 student explains.
“I was keen to try it out as I’d really like to work in the field of modelling - but never thought I’d win it!”
Ciara DeCarteret was crowned the senior Face of NI - and had to juggle her studies at Lismore Comprehensive School with the contest.
“I saw the Face of NI online and decided to try it out,” explains Ciara. “I didn’t expect to get picked as a finalist - I was in the middle of doing my A levels at the time and asked people to sponsor me study!”
Director of Face of NI, Hayley McDonald, commended the girls: “The girls worked extremely hard for this and helped the community. They are a beauty with a purpose.”