Alannah Carey from Moate.

Moate student in running for Miss Bikini Ireland title

A local student is a finalist in the upcoming Miss Bikini Ireland competition.

Alannah Carey (20) from Ballycumber Road, Moate, is among those vying for the Miss Bikini Ireland title and for the chance to represent the country in the worldwide finals in America.

A second-year childcare student in Athlone IT, Alannah, who is the daughter of Rebecca and Alan, and has a sister Leah, and brother Bryan, says this contest is a new departure for her but the journey so far has been nothing but positive.

Having come across Miss Bikini Ireland on Instagram when they liked her profile – the Moate girl decided to give the competition a go - and despite it being nerve-wracking at the start to pose in a bikini, she has a discovered a lot of inner confidence as a result.

While the national competition was due to take place on January 31, organisers have now deferred it until later this year when it is safe to hold live finals. A portion of the overall vote on the night will come from public voting.

Asked what she would like to gain from the experience, the Moate girl replies: “Well, obviously I'd like to win, that's the dream but so far I've made so many friends from being involved and become more confident, I feel like it's a nearly a win already. It would be nice to get into modelling too.”

She's had a small taster of what that's like recently modelling some clothes for the Texas store and website in Tullamore, and some photoshoots in Athlone which she says have increased her confidence and helped her learn to work with the camera.

Her interactions with Miss Bikini Ireland on Instagram videos have been brilliant in developing her public speaking skills, adds Alannah.

While she acknowledges that some have a negative view of this type of contest or see it as provocative, for her it is about body confidence and it has given her huge belief in herself given she hadn't done anything like it before.

The new friendships too, Alannah enthuses, have been even more important during a really tough time for everyone with Covid-19.

“I've met so many people since I got involved from all over, lots from Northern Ireland. We talk all the time, it's just really nice and they are into the same things and have the same mindset. We're all there for each other. We've become like a little family,” she concludes, thanking Thomas Moore for all the help developing her photo portfolio.