A 24 year old from Kesh has been selected to compete in this year’s Miss Northern Ireland competition.

Abigail Parkinson is one of the contestants battling it out for the crown at this year’s Miss Northern Ireland competition.

Speaking to The Impartial Reporter, a bubbly Abigail said: “I am thrilled to be a finalist in this year’s competition. After competing in 2019, I had planned to watch the next year for some tips, but due to the pandemic it never happened, so I thought now or never.”

A former student of the Enniskillen Collegiate Grammar School, Abigail is well known across Fermanagh and will be hoping to bring her sense of humour and her enthusiasm to this year’s pageant. The pageant usually occurs in May but due to the pandemic, it will now be held in September, 2021.

Many across the county will be well used to the various heats that happen in preparation for Miss Northern Ireland but due to the pandemic the selection process was a little different.

Abigail explained the new process to this newspaper, she said: “For the heat, you were asked 24 hours before hand to send in a video of your catwalk in your heat dress. We then had a zoom interview process in which all girls spoke individually, listened to each other, and then had questions from the judging panel. We then were all thanked and left the call.”

Winners of the heat were announced via social media, a sign of the times due to the virtual nature of the selection. Abigail said: “You then just keep your eyes peeled on the Instagram page to see who is announced as the winner. It was strange as I found out the same time as everyone else, but that also made it exciting.”

Abigail is kept busy working as an actress and testing out her entrepreneurial skills as a social media director for her own business.

“I have been very blessed with being able to work for myself at the moment and getting to launch myself into exciting new ventures like this. So physically I will be just keeping it consistent. Mentally, I am just planning on growing my own business.

“I have also launched a podcast so between work, fitness and visiting all of the Miss NI sponsors in preparation for upcoming photo shoots.”

Part of her business has seen Abigail working in collaboration with County Down based Athena Athletics on a fitness and nutrition programme, key to her preparation for the Miss Northern Ireland pageant.

Abigail added: “I will be a busy girl.”

Kind-hearted Abigail is also in the midst of preparing for a charity cycle in Cuba which will see her cycle a distance of 350km from Havanna to Trinidad, raising money for Northern Ireland Hospice. She has already raised over £3,700 for the charity in preparation for the challenge.

Fermanagh has had it fair share of title holders over the years and Abigail spoke about their impact on her. She said: “I look up to Mary McCartney and Judith Grey in particular, they are so well respected in the pageant world but also are just such lovely people too. I’ve not had the chance to speak to them yet, but as always any advice they have is invaluable and I will be sure to listen.”