Former Direct Provision Resident Pamela Uba Crowned Miss Ireland 2021

Pamela Uba - Miss Ireland 2021 - Instagram

History has been made with the announcement of the first ever black Miss Ireland in the form of Miss Galway, Pamela Uba who has faced a significant challenge to get to such a lofty point in her life.

The 26-year-old, whose family moved from South Africa to Ireland when she was seven, has a masters degree from Trinity College Dublin in clinical chemistry and now works in Galway University Hospital.

Pamela is also a former direct provision resident, where her family lived for 10 years.

She told Newstalk “It feels surreal, like I haven’t come back down to Earth, it’s just a whirlwind of thrills and excitment and I’m so, so, so grateful.

When you have a dream, and you work so hard for it, when you actually acheive it it is quite shocking to realise ‘Oh my God you actually made it‘.

I couldn’t believe it, I just broke down in tears – I was telling myself ‘Don’t cry’ but it just kept flooding out of me.”

For her life in direct provision was very challenging..

My family spent 10 years there – it’s a system where you’re nearly reliant on everyone, you can’t do anything for yourself.

“Especially during the time that we were in that centre; we would have to oblige to rules of coming in to the centre at a certain time, having your food at a certain time.”

She will represent Ireland in the Miss World 2021 contest in Puerto Rico in December.