MOUNTSHANNON’S Luchia Noyes will take to the Miss Ireland stage this September representing County Roscommon.
Luchia was born in Dublin but from the age of four came to live with her Mum in Mountshannon. Having studied film and television in Galway for a year she headed for Australia at 18 for what she thought would be a three month stint. Three months turned into six years, and she now works as a unit manager on Films and TV shows with Eire Films in Australia. Home was always on her mind and two years ago she decided to come back home. Due to work commitments in Australia she is over and back now between the two countries. Last year the actress thought about applying for the Miss Ireland competition as she felt it offered a great platform for young women. Tragically around that time she lost a friend to suicide and her focus changed.
“I came home last year for three months and I was going to apply for Miss Ireland. I think there’s a certain stereotype with the pageants and not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I see it as an amazing platform if you wanted to do something good, and it’s a great opportunity. I was going to apply for that reason and also for the experience. But last year my friend in Scariff ended up taking his own life while I was home, so I didn’t end up applying,” she said.
Instead she extending her trip and organised a big fundraising campaign for Pieta House.
“He died less than a week before I was going to go back to Australia but I decided to stay and took the opportunity to see what it was like to live and work here. I did a few fundraisers for Pieta House and climbed Carrauntoohill. Then when I went back to Australia I did six months as a youth coach with troubled youths and that was really interesting,” she said.
This year on her annual trip home she sent an email to the Miss Ireland panel to see if she could take part as she felt she had a campaign behind her and being involved would give her a platform to showcase it.
“I didn’t really know how it worked. As it turns out most of the counties have big heats, and they told me Miss Clare had been won already. They asked what other link had I through work, family or education. My Mum is from Dublin and has family in Donegal and when I asked Mum where else do we have family, she let me know that we had lot of family in Roscommon,” she said.
Luchia was given the opportunity to represent the county just two weeks ago now, and after rescheduling work and a big fundraiser in Australia she has cleared her schedule to compete in the final on September 14 in the Helix in Dublin.
She is really looking forward to the experience but she does admit that she has a lot to learn.
“I’ve just had to start using Instagram, I’m 27 and I’m the oldest girl in the competition and the youngest is 17 so there’s a huge difference. Every week now we have events and this past weekend for example we had a photoshoot at a castle in Meath and we had head shots taken and we met with the judges. The previous Sunday we were part of a children’s charity fashion show, which was a really good day,” she explained.
Luchia is really looking forward to raising awareness of her fundraising efforts and said her campaign will be about men’s mental health, something she has already been focusing on since early this year.
“In January I started my campaign and I’ve been doing a fundraiser in support of Pieta House, and The Black Dog Institute in Australia [a Medical Research Institute and a global leader in translational mental health research]. One of the things I’m doing is I’m not drinking for the whole of 2019, and I’ve friends who will do one month with me. I’ve a few community events then in Sydney and Ireland as well. The campaign is about suicide prevention and is aimed at pro-actively preventing suicide. That is the main reason why I wanted to go for this, because having that platform would be amazing to bring awareness to it. I’m delighted to be doing it and it is such a huge opportunity and it was a way of shining a light on my cause,” she concluded.
Those interested in supporting her fundraising campaign can find her on go fund me, under Luchia’s Suicide Prevention Campaign or follow her on social media to find out more.