By Elizabeth Moore

A Dungiven teenager is set to take part in the final of the Miss Intercontinental Ireland and Northern Ireland pageant this weekend.

19 year-old Lorna Reilly will compete against 24 other pageant finalists from around the world, in what will be known as the 46th anniversary of the annual competition.

The grand finale will take place on Sunday, September 17 at the City Hotel in Derry where a representative from each province will be chosen for the first time.     

The Dungiven youngster, who was a runner up in the Miss Derry Pageant last year, applied for the event after discovering a post on Facebook.

“I noticed that the National Director of the event, Ashleigh Coyle had shared a post which was looking for applicants so I thought I would like to give it a try,” said Lorna.

While the sash and crown have become pop culture mainstays, the Miss Intercontinental event has grown to become an ultimate show and icon of female beauty and success.

This year, as well as being crowned Miss Ireland, the lucky winner will walk away with a prize of £15,000.

All contestants will be required to raise money for two charities based in Derry, Me4Mental and Rainbow Rehoming Centre.

“The issue which I am most passionate about is mental health as I feel it is such a taboo subject these days,” says Lorna.

She continued: “I would love to raise awareness for this issue by visiting schools and talking about it as I feel this is very important and it is something I’ve always wanted to do.”

The Dungiven youngster is taking part in a fundraiser on Thursday, September 14 where Lorna is currently studying for her A levels.

“Myself and others are holding a bake sale at my school to raise funds for mental health and I’m really looking forward to it.”

The 19 year-old admits she would like to serve as an example for young women around the globe that anyone can achieve their dream.

“I was very shy when I was younger so if I win I would like to use that as a platform to show other young girls that if I can do it then they can”, added Lorna.

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