04 Dec 2021

From Tipperary to Cork to Wexford: Fethard’s Lucy Butler to represent her grandmother’s county at Miss Ireland 2018

University College Cork's Lucy Butler to represent Wexford at Miss Ireland 2018 in Dublin next month

A Tipperary woman studying in Cork will represent Wexford at Miss Ireland 2018 next month.

Fethard’s Lucy Butler finished third at Miss Cork 2018, going on to compete in a wildcard selection night where she qualified for the Miss Ireland 2018 final, which takes place at The Helix in Dublin on September 16.

She chose to represent her family’s native county of Wexford and wants to do her grandmother Nelly Ryan proud by winning Miss Ireland.

“My grandmother is a Wexford woman. She met her husband, the late Pat Ryan, in New Ross. Growing up, Wexford always held a special place in my heart. My mother would tell me stories of her childhood summers spent in New Ross with her own grandparents, a lot of the time picking strawberries,” Lucy tells Waterford Live.

“I am so proud to be Miss Wexford 2018 in honour of my grandmother’s roots there. In fact, my great great grandmother was ‘crowned’ the tallest woman in Wexford many moons ago, so my family is steeped in Wexford folklore. My grandmother turns 80 today (Monday, August 27) and it means so much to her. Family is a huge part of my life and I want to do them proud,” Lucy continues.

Lucy with her Wexford grandmother Nelly Ryan. 

Lucy has just finished a Masters in Electronic Business at University College Cork, following on from her undergraduate degree in Commerce. She is dreaming of winning Miss Ireland and becoming a role model for young women.

“I have always been really passionate about working with people and being in business. With Miss Ireland I want to be an advocate for young women, encouraging them to go forward and pursue their careers and education. I want to show young women that you can be involved in a beauty competition and still go forward with your studies.

“You can have  a fantastic career in any industry. Education is power and it is the greatest weapon you can possess, so I really want to be a role model and encourage women to follow their dreams”.

Lucy says she always wanted to get involved in a Miss Ireland competition and looks up to past winners for inspiration.

“I am over the moon to be taking part in Miss Ireland this year. Miss Ireland is full of confident young women who empower each other. We are all so like-minded and passionate about what we do. We are so happy and honoured to be involved in the Miss Ireland final. It’s uplifting and it’s not stressful. There’s no negativity because everyone is in it for the same reasons. Everyone is so nice and it’s a fantastic experience”.

Lucy, the daughter of Alice and Kieran Butler from Fethard, is using the Miss Ireland platform to promote women’s health. She lost a loved one to cancer in recent years and wants to use the national stage to generate more awareness around cervical health.

Lucy with her dad Kieran and mum Alice from Fethard. 

“Beauty with purpose to me means promoting women’s health. When I was involved in the Miss Cork competition I launched a cervical cancer awareness campaign. I wanted to educate young women on cervical health and how to prevent cancer. It has been prominent in the media lately and there has been bad publicity of screenings, but I just want to promote the benefits of screenings and smear tests. Screenings do safe lives, have saved lives and will continue to save lives. Miss Ireland is the ideal platform for me to promote women’s health and cervical health,” she adds.

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