Miss Ireland Grainne Gallanagh celebrates top 20 at Miss Universe with a Domino's

Never mind top of the world, it was top of the universe for Donegal nurse Grainne Gallanagh who finished in the top 20 at the Miss Universe pageant in Thailand.

The blonde beauty was also named in the top five in Europe, with the overall crown going to Miss Philippines, Catriona Gray. Miss Universe Ireland owner and model Brittany Mason told the Diary that Grainne (24) had been “fantastic” throughout the competition and helped make history – this is the first time Ireland has enjoyed back-to-back finals on the international stage.  Last year, Cailin Aine Ni Toibin also made the final round.

“We’re so excited, she made history for Ireland,” said Brittany (32). “I’m so happy, I hope to get the crown one day soon.”

She couldn’t speak highly enough of Grainne, and told how she had delivered an extra-cheesy Domino’s pizza to the young model after the show as a reward for sashaying her way into the top 20

“She has worked extremely hard and she’s with her family now relaxing,” she said. “When we saw her after the show we brought her a big cheesy, barbecue Domino’s pizza. She has been talking about it since July, so that’s what we rewarded her with.

“I think Grainne really got her message around women’s health across. She was also the only working health professional – a lot of the girls are training, but she was the only working health professional.”

The pageant in Ireland has gone from strength to strength since Brittany took it on in 2016, but she has plenty more plans for the competition.

She hopes that one day the Miss Universe show will be held in Dublin’s 3Arena.

“I wish Ireland televised it. I’ve had so many people asking and it’s really unfortunate no one supports the girls that go over,” she said. “I’m hoping that will change.”

Brittany would love to see more support for the pageant in Ireland as she has had to outsource sponsors and brands from America and thinks it would be a good opportunity for Irish businesses. She thinks it’s a great springboard to launch a career too – fitness and food guru Roz Purcell is a household name who started out on the Miss Universe stage in 2010. Roz placed in the top 10 when she took part.

Model Joanna Cooper, who is dating rugby star Conor Murray, has also carved out a successful modelling career since the competition.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a springboard for a career for so many women,” said Brittany.

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