Talented Ballyhar native Molly Sullivan will have the whole of Kerry behind her when she takes part in Miss Universe Ireland in Dublin on August 2. Molly is one of 28 participants who will be hoping to claim the top spot at the Mansion House and go on to represent Ireland at one of the biggest beauty pageants in the world, Miss Universe.

For Molly, who has 13 All-Ireland medals in rowing, this has been a long held dream. “I’ve always wanted to do something like this,” she said. “I know there’s Miss Kerry as well but I wanted to go a bit bigger. I saw online that they were casting and I entered my submission in April. I thought no more of it to be honest but I got a call in June and it’s been all go since then.”

Molly and her fellow contestants will be interviewed before walking on stage in a ball gown and a bikini, but the 20-year-old law and psychology student says it’s not based on appearance.

“I know there’s a stigma about that but it’s not judged on what you look like. It’s not about your image, it’s about your personality. It’s done by interview the day before. The walking in your bikini and your dress is purely to judge your confidence.”

Molly is prepared to take a year out of college if she wins Miss Universe Ireland and says she would use her title to work on some issues that are important to her.

“Suicide has been so high in Ireland and in Kerry recently so that’s definitely something I’d want to highlight, and also the Cancer Society would be close to my heart as well.

“Miss Universe Ireland is a huge thing and winning it would mean so much to me.”

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