Occupation: Buying Assistant and Student
Age: 26

"My name is Helena Hughes. Born and bred in the medieval capital, I'm honoured to be representing my county. I grew up in Kilkenny City, and since 2010 we've been based in the beautiful village of Kells. 

"I work as a buying assistant in Brown Thomas' head office, and I'm completing a Master's in Fashion Buying and Management part-time in the Dublin Institute of Technology. I previously won the DIT Arthur Ryan Gold Medal in 2016, coming first in my postgraduate diploma class. I studied French and English in Trinity for my undergraduate degree, after which I spent a year teaching in France. But I missed Ireland and decided to move back and manage a vintage shop for about a year. 

"I love music; I play celtic-style piano and sing as an alto in the Brown Thomas Choir. I've been a lifelong fan of the Rose of Tralee, organising viewing parties for it every August! 

"I'm a real home-bird and I love spending time with my Kerry-born granny and my fabulous mammy, both of whom inspire me with their strength of character - and their love of clothes!"