Sarah Jane Dunne is a Trinity college graduate and a qualified English and Religion secondary school teacher, not to mention a former winner of Miss Trinity College. She will be the first Irish traveller to bring her beauty pageant experience to a national level, when she competes in the Miss Ireland competition this year.

Sarah Jane says she hasn’t experienced any negative attention due to her traveller background: “It comes up in conversation sometimes, but I think it’s a positive thing for most people to see someone put on a platform, who would normally be associated with a particular, stereotypical image.”

Though originally from Co. Clare, the Irish beauty has been living in Kilkenny for over a year: “It’s an honour to be taking part in the Miss Ireland contest on behalf of Kilkenny and on behalf of the Traveller community.

“I believe that being chosen for the competition is a very positive signal for any minority group in the country that it can be accepted into the mainstream.”

Good luck, Sarah!

sarah jane