14-year-old Evanna Lynch from Termonfeckin, Co Louth, has beaten thousands of girls across Ireland and the UK to take the role of Luna Lovegood in the next Harry Potter film.

The blonde-haired Lovegood makes her debut appearance in 'Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix', the filming of which starts on 6 February.

A Ravenclaw student who becomes an important ally of Harry, Ron and Hermione, she is described as having a somewhat distracted appearance and is called "Looney Lovegood" behind her back.

Lynch already owns a signed copy of 'Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix'.

When the book was released in 2003, Lynch, a long-term Harry Potter fan, was allowed out of Our Lady of Lourdes hospital for an hour to collect it.

She was one of 15,000 hopefuls that turned up at an open casting call in London earlier this year.

'...The Order of the Phoenix' is the fifth film adaptation of JK Rowling's Harry Potter series and will be directed by award-winning British filmmaker David Yates ('The Girl in the Café', 'Sex Traffic', 'State of Play').

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson reprise their roles in this film and joining the cast are Imelda Staunton as new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Dolores Umbridge; Helen McCrory as Bellatrix Lestrange; and Kathryn Hunter as Mrs Figg.

'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix' will be released in 2007.