In a few hours, a new Miss Earth will be crowned in a virtual competition to be aired from the Philippines. Eighty-four of the world’s most beautiful women take the flight to win the coveted title and become the ambassador to environmental protection campaigns worldwide.
Among the delegates who equally deserve a spotlight is Miss Earth Ireland 2020 Eileen Mary O’Donnel. The 27-year-old beauty from Derry is the 6th woman to present “The Emerald Isle” in the Miss Earth pageant since its debut in 2006 and if she enters the Top 20, she’ll make history to become the first one to place in the semi-final.
Despite a hectic week leading up to the virtual finale, Eileen took the time to respond to a quick special interview with us.
How were you chosen to represent Ireland at Miss Earth 2020?
The National Director for Ireland headhunted me to become Miss Earth Ireland 2020. He had been watching my experience grow and see how I had developed over the past 4 years. I had followed Miss Earth for many years and it was an incredible opportunity for me to represent my country. He believes that I can make history for Ireland by being the first Irish delegate to make the Top 20. It would be phenomenal to place during the 20th anniversary of the Miss Earth pageant. I have had a lot of support but it will be tough as it has been just over one month since I was elected and there are so many worthy Eco-Angels. I wish them all the best of luck for the final and coronation.
What do you think is the most important quality the next Miss Earth should possess?
I believe the most important quality the next Miss Earth should possess is connection. Through high-quality connections globally with communities, charities, the Miss Earth Organization, and the Earth, the next Miss Earth will have excellent communication, listen actively, speak up, show leadership, and take ownership. By making a connection with the Earth – the people, animals, and land we can make fundamental change.
If you could take us to a place in your country for one day, where would it be?
Choosing just one is very difficult as we have many beautiful places here in the Emerald Isle but I would love to take you to the stunning Cliffs of Moher! It’s believed that the cliffs are over 320 million years old and is among one of the most visited attractions here in Ireland. The Cliffs of Moher are also along the Wild Atlantic Way which is the coastal route that runs from Cork to Donegal – one of my favorite places to visit!
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
If I could have a superpower, I would love to have the ability to travel back in time. I would love to speak to my two grandmothers who have both passed away. I would chat with them and ask for their advice, I would love to know if I am making them proud. That would be a very special superpower to me.
If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs—such as food and water—were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you?
I would definitely take a photograph of my family and loved ones. I believe that family gives you the strength to get through situations that you didn’t know you could and it is a bond that can never be broken. I would also take a blanket for when it is cold as I love to be snug as a bug!
If you could be an animal, which one would it be, and why?
I would be a lion. They represent strength, wisdom, and maturity. I feel like they show many equivalent qualities to what I feel are most important as a human. They show leadership yet tenderness and compassion.
What’s your go-to comfort food?
Oh, I definitely have a few! For something sweet, strawberries and something savory, bread!
Can you name just one reason why you are happy today?
I’m happy today because I am grateful to be completing this interview with the PAGEANTCircle Team. I appreciate your support!
How would you encourage a teenager with low self-esteem?
I can relate to this question as I feel like many people experience low self-esteem at some point throughout their lives. My advice to a teenager with low self-esteem is to remember who you are. One of my favorite quotes is “No one is you and that is your power.” In today’s society evermore so, we can be so hard on ourselves. Give yourself a break! Take some pressure off. You are more than capable but becoming the best version of yourself takes time. We are always learning, developing, and changing! Self-development books and podcasts help me so I would recommend them.
Do you have a message for young girls out there who wants to venture into the world of pageantry?
Yes, if the fire is in your stomach and you have a passion for it then do it! Pageantry has come such a long way and many iconic women have evolved from it. Our voices are being heard and intentions go way beyond a crown. With Miss Earth, I am raising environmental awareness through my advocacy of WASTE “We All Should Treasure Earth” and representing “Beauty for a Cause.”
Photos: Ghost Productions LK