Aisling Murphy, a 13-year-old from Youghal, will represented Munster in this year’s Galaxy Ireland pageant this weekend, on Saturday and Sunday, 14 and 15 October.
Aisling, who already has multiple pageant titles under her belt such as winning Junior Miss Ireland in 2015, is competing in the Jr Miss Galaxy Ireland category and if she is successful she will represent Ireland in the Galaxy International finals in Orland, Florida in July of next year.
“Usually you would have to pass a general interview to represent Munster,” said Effy Murphy, mother of Aisling, “but as she already won a title to represent Cork two years ago she automatically qualified. Aisling has been competing in pageants since she was six. This is the big one they would be working towards. It is only its third year in Ireland, but it is the first year she is qualified to can take part in as she is a teen. That’s why we’re doing it this year.”
The Galaxy International Pageant is held annually each summer in Orlando, Florida, in the United States and features the winners in different categories of National Finals from around the world. The Galaxy Ireland competition is open to both the Republic and Northern Ireland and includes categories for girls and women aged 12-14, 15-18, 19-29, 30+ as well as women who are married. The winners will receive a prize package worth €5,000 which includes airfare to and accommodation at Orland for the International finals.
The Irish competition’s contestants, such as Aisling, collect toys as part of the Temple Street Children’s University Hospital Christmas Toy Appeal.
“We are looking for donations of new toys,” said Effy Murphy. “Every girl in the competition collects toys or sponsors toys. Then the day after the pageant the winner will go to Temple Street [Children's Hospital] and hand over the toys to the general manager. They’ll be put away for Christmas and then shared amongst the kids. We would like to thank everyone who supports us and the toy collection, and to thank our sponsors, such as Rock Bingo for their toy donations for Temple Street.”