We have a new Miss Ireland – Cork student Jessica Hayes!
Jessica represented as Miss Buck Whaley’s – the Dublin nightclub – and was stunned to hear her name announced at the ceremony in the capital last night.
The 20-year-old Business Studies student said, “I am just so shocked. I am just so, so happy. I entered last year and thought I would not be as nervous this time but I was ten times worse.
“I hoped for the best and to get in the top eight was absolutely fantastic but when they announced I had won I just could not believe it.”
First runner up last night was Shannon Howe, 20, representing Dublin Central
This year broke new ground with the first Irish Traveller competing for the title – Miss Kilkenny Sarah Jane Dunne.
The winner was chosen by a nine-strong panel of judges including the 1984 and 2006 Miss Ireland winners Olivia Tracey and Sarah Morrissey, TV3 Xposé presenter Aisling O’Loughlin, Miss World representative Krishna Naidoo and Dublin Housewives star Roz Flanagan.
Presenters for the evening were Elaine Crowley, of TV3’s Midday show, and TV personality Ray Shah.
Last year’s Miss Ireland, Aoife Walsh, handed over the crown and said the new winner was guaranteed a year she would never forget.
“My life has changed so dramatically throughout my time as Miss Ireland. It has truly been a life-altering experience,” said Aoife.