Rebekah Shirley from Ballymoney was crowned the 2014 Open + Direct Miss Northern Ireland winner at the Europa Hotel, Belfast last night.
The 18 year old brunette impressed the panel of judges on the night with her beauty, charm and personality – giving her the winning edge over the twenty-five other finalists, to scoop the title.
We picked out our top six from the final line up and based purely on that one photo – the top three were in it – damn we’re good! So why did Rebekah get the crown? Contest organiser and Managing Director of top Belfast modelling agency ACA Models, Alison Clarke said: “Rebekah has really sparkled throughout the contest and she certainly wowed the judging panel on the night.”
It’s not often a brunette wins the coveted crown and there was only a whisper of blonde on the podium in the lowlights of 3rd place Sophia Adli (who we think looks like a cross between Olivia Palermo and Louise Roe – it’s a good look!) Alongside 2nd place Anna Henry’s raven haired locks Rebekah, Anna and Sophia made up for a tall dark and gorgeous Top 3.
Winner Rebekah said: “I am absolutely delighted to wear the Miss Northern Ireland crown and be given the opportunity to represent Northern Ireland in this way! Taking part in the contest has been such an immense experience and I never thought I would come this far.
“I’ve always looked up to previous Miss Northern Ireland winners, so I hope to follow in their footsteps and become a positive role model for other local girls. Winning this title is undoubtedly life-changing and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me!”
Colin McEvoy, Head of contest sponsor Open + Direct said: “Everyone at Open + Direct’s 15 branches across Northern Ireland has been cheering on their local finalists but we’re delighted that Rebekah has taken home the top prize. Rebekah demonstrates the perfect balance of charm and beauty, which marks her out as the perfect ambassador for Northern Ireland. Everyone at Open + Direct wishes her all the best in her campaign for the Miss World title.”
On handing over her title, the 2013 winner Meagan Green said: “I’ve had an incredible year as Miss Northern Ireland. It’s been a real honour to be the face of Northern Ireland and I’ve gained so much from my experience. It’s with a heavy heart that I relinquish my crown, but I am so happy to be passing it to Rebekah, who is a deserving winner. I wish her all the very best for her year as Open + Direct Miss Northern Ireland.”
Rebekah will receive an extensive prize package worth thousands of pounds including a year’s modelling contract with ACA Models, an all-expenses paid trip to Miss World in London, a Kia car from Downey’s taxed, and insured for a year by Open + Direct, a new designer wardrobe provided by Blush Boutique and beauty treatments throughout the year.