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model's bravery Former Miss Universe Grainne Gallanagh: 'If any good can come from Covid it's that frontline workers will never be taken for granted again'

The Donegal beauty queen is looking for heroic frontline workers deserving of a tasty treat, writes Daragh Keany

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She is the former Miss Universe Ireland stunner who waltzed her way into the runner-up spot on Dancing With The Stars earlier this year but now she has swapped the glitzy ballgowns for her nurse's uniform.

When the call was made by the HSE in March for extra help, Grainne Gallanagh didn't hesitate in answering, even if her family were nervous about the 26-year-old going back to the front line.

"Of course we were all a bit nervous; I still am," the Donegal model told Magazine+.

"Every shift brings different worries but I love my job so much. I am not a hero; I just want to do the best I can for the patients.

"If any good can come from Covid it's that front line workers will never be taken for granted again."

Gallanagh also feels lucky that she isn't in the position that she has to work. "I am so blessed that I have other opportunities through my modelling and DWTS. I work through an agency so I could get sent anywhere but most of my nursing is done in Letterkenny Hospital. I do about two or three shifts a week but each one is a long 12-hour day so I am usually wrecked for the rest of the week. It can me physically and emotionally exhausting. I don't know how full time front line workers do what they do."

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Grainne Gallanagh

Grainne Gallanagh

Grainne Gallanagh

One of those opportunities is being the face of a brand new campaign from Domino's.

"This was one of the easiest yesses ever. I adore Domino's. I was actually quoted as craving it towards the end of DWTS so the stars have aligned and brought us together for this," she laughs.

"Domino's have asked me to help find local heroes. They want members of the public to nominate health care workers and front line staff who have gone beyond their call of duty over the last eight months. The winner will be given a year's supply of pizza. But that's not all…they also want to give the winner's colleague pizza too.

"It's not going to change or save lives but it is a really good gesture from Domino's and I know a lot of people who deserve this. There are only a few days left but all you have to do is log onto the website and enter."

Anyone following the 2018 beauty pageant queen on Instagram will know that while at home she doesn't take herself too seriously; especially now that she has moved home to her family's farm.

"Look, I love glamour. I love to get dolled up and put on fancy clothes. So when we were all in lockdown at the start of this I decided to wear something fancy around the house. The only thing is I couldn't wear it out anywhere to show it off so I took to the farm in it," she laughs.

"I didn't think the post would be as popular. But it ended up being liked a lot. So I did a few more poses around the place. It's all a bit silly; and I think a lot of people were losing their minds in the early stages of the lockdown. But it was all just a bit of fun and we had some craic doing it. I even managed to get dad into some of the pics."

She continued: "I did ruin a gorgeous yellow dress though when I lay down in some cow poo for a picture. I'm raging about that. But other than that it was all just mild fun.

"I'll do it again too if the opportunity comes up. But when I am nursing I don't live with my parents for obvious reasons."

So what is next for the star? "No solid plans at the moment. Things may have been very different if the Coronavirus hadn't arrived but I will hold out and wait and see what comes of it next year. I would love to do some radio and TV work but nothing is lined up."

Domino's is calling on the people of Ireland to nominate their Local Legends - outstanding frontline care workers who go above and beyond for their communities - to win free pizza for them, their household and their work colleagues for a whole year.

⬤ Nominate your Local Legend here dominoslocallegends.ie

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