Tipperary footballer sets sights on glory after All-Ireland heartbreak

Miss Tipperary 2019 Kirsty Downey loving 'phenomenal' Miss Ireland experience

Dylan White


Dylan White


Tipperary footballer sets her eyes on the Miss Ireland 2019 prize

Cahir's Kirsty Downey is dreaming of being crowned Miss Ireland 2019

A County Tipperary ladies footballer is eyeing up All-Ireland glory this month.

Miss Tipperary 2019 Kirsty Downey is one of 33 finalists who will take to The Helix, Dublin, stage for the 72nd Miss Ireland pageant on September 14, with the prize a place at the Miss World 2019 event in London this December. 

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Similar to Cashel’s Bailey Gavin and Kilfeacle’s Ciara Coman, the 23-year-old has been using the “phenomenal” Miss Ireland platform to fundraise for Variety Ireland, a charity which helps children who are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs. Kirsty is also supporting Limerick’s Children's Grief Centre, a free support service for young people who have experienced a loss through bereavement, separation or divorce. Kirsty held a fundraiser at SuperValu in Cahir last week, and has been left “truly humbled” by the support she has received throughout the Miss Ireland campaign. 

Kirsty plays for Cahir GAA Club’s ladies senior football team and captained the under 16 Tipperary team to an All-Ireland final against Longford in 2013. She says defeat in the All-Ireland final planted a "seed of determination" inside her to succeed in the Miss Ireland contest. "Setbacks are a negative that can be turned into a positive. It’s hugely important for young people to be involved in sport or as part of a team. It has definitely stood to me in my work and personal life, teaching me the importance of discipline," she says. 

Kirsty recently completed a degree in International Business and German at Limerick Institute of Technology Tipperary, and works at Brown Thomas Limerick. She dreams of setting up her own business, one that caters for her interests in beauty, jewellery or interior design. 

Kirsty feels perfection in life is “non-existent”, encouraging young people to firstly focus on becoming comfortable in their own skin before trying to take on the world. “You’ll reap the benefits of putting the phone down for at least an hour a day and taking time out for yourself,” she advises.

And she is an advocate of “real authenticity” and urges others to rise above the naysayers. “Fortunately enough I haven’t experienced too much negativity online. People who post hurtful messages and comments normally have their own personal issues and it normally has nothing to do with you. It’s super important to rise above it and never feed off any of it because most of the time all they want is a reaction. Not giving them a reaction puts you a step ahead,” she adds.