|Subject: Former Miss Ireland launches search for Mayo’s beauties
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Date Posted: 03/24/05 4:57:15pm
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
When Irish girl, Rosanna Davison won the Miss World title in 2003, it signalled a new era for the beauty pageant in this country.
It was the first time an Irish girl had won the international title and the Miss Ireland event, which had come under new management that year, became an aspiration for countless young girls around the country.
People began to realise what a high profile event it was in the fashion and related industries and that it could afford participants with invaluable contacts and exposure.
This year Mayo's beauties are in with a chance to vie for stardom. Former Miss Ireland, Emir Holohan, has just launched the Miss Mayo event. It's the first time that the event has been run in this county in several years.
Emir is proud to be at the helm. Originally from Ballaghaderreen she proclaims herself to be a native of Mayo. While some Roscommon people might dispute that Emir confirmed her allegiance to the green and red in August 2003, when she married Ballina man, James Duffy. The couple are now based in Ballina with their two sons Joshua and Samuel.
Emir is thrilled to get the opportunity to promote Miss Mayo:
"When I got through to the Miss Ireland final I was representing Galway. There was no Miss Mayo entrant that year. It would have been nice to represent my own county.
"I have always wanted to run a contest like this; whether it's judging or taking part these competitions are great fun and the contestants always have a ball." Emir explained.
And Mayo has a strong track record in the pageant, with Emir taking the Irish title in 1999 and Glencorrib girl, Lynda Duffy wearing the crown in 2002 to name but two.
But launching Miss Mayo was not just about flying the Mayo flag for Emir. She has organised the whole thing as a fundraiser for the Mayo Roscommon Hospice and hopes the pageant will be generously supported by local businesses.
Emir wants to hear from as many beautiful 17-24 year old girls in Mayo or with Mayo connections as possible in the next few weeks. Contestants can enter themselves or businesses can sponsor an entrant.
Emir stresses that Miss Mayo is not all about looks: "The girl we are looking for should have a personality that shines through. The competition involves a preliminary judging process consisting of interviews to find out about their backgrounds and interests."
Modelling experience is not necessary for participants but it would be helpful if entrants have an interest in and a flare for it as the Miss Ireland event involves some modelling. Emir will help and advise contestants in this respect. The girl who is crowned Miss Mayo will go on to participate in the Miss Ireland Final later this year and a year long modelling contract with Assets modelling agency is just one of the amazing prizes that accompanies the title.
Today Emir is grateful to her mother, who entered her for the 1999 Miss Galway event having read a newspaper article.
"I got a letter in the post to say I had been selected for the Miss Galway event. I was absolutely mortified and I could not believe it when I won," Emir recalls. "I would not have had the confidence to enter myself but my mum was determined that I had what it took!"
She spent the next few weeks following a strict beauty regime in preparation for the Miss Ireland final in Dublin. Emir was crowned Miss Ireland and the following year proved one of the best of her life:
"I was studying in Dublin at the time. I took a year out and did a lot of work. I travelled abroad a lot, including a couple of trips to the United States on promotional jobs and a lot of charity work," she explains.
It was the charitable aspect of Emir's role that proved the most fulfilling of the Miss Ireland experience. That is why she is now delighted to take on the Miss Mayo franchise in aid of the Mayo Roscommon Hospice.
So the search is on. Emir elaborates on the Miss Mayo criteria:
"The girl should feel she has the potential to be a model and to carry out all aspects of the Miss Ireland role. While this is a great platform for anyone who aspires to be a model you also become an ambassador for your country when you travel abroad so you need to be a confidant "people" person‚ and enjoy meeting new people all the time! You will come into contact with the fashion, media and tourism industries quite a bit and meet all types of celebrities it is a lot of fun and it is important to be yourself," Emir said.
The Miss Mayo final will be held in Crocketts on the Quay in Ballina on Friday, June 17th next. Entrants will be interviewed by a panel of high profile judges including previous title holder Lynda Duffy and model agency boss Mandy Maher . The winner will go straight into the Miss Ireland event and will be provided with everything she needs to prepare for that. Prizes on the night will include a designer gown from Cobou, clothing from Milan, shoes from Mc Guires, hair care and grooming by Martha Galvin and beauty by Helen Molloy all in Ballina.
Miss Ireland 2005 will go forward to participate in the Miss World pageant - a high profile and very glamorous competition.
"The Miss Ireland contestant will have the most fantastic time in the Miss World host country. It is a cliché thing to say but this really is a once in a life time experience. The competition is very glamorous but the majority of girls who enter are very down to earth," Emir remarked.
If you would like to sample some of that glamour and excitement be sure to book your tickets for the Miss Mayo final in Crocketts on the Quay in Ballina on Friday, June 17th next. All proceeds go to the Mayo Roscommon Hospice. Admission is €10 and tickets are available from Emir. Tel: (087)9772918 / 096 76615
And if you would like to enter the Miss Mayo competition or know someone with the potential to hold that title fill in the accompanying entry form on this page. You must provide two colour photographs of the entrant - one full length and one head and shoulders along with the form. Entries should be sent to No. 5 Quignalecka, Sligo Rd, Ballina and the closing date for the event is Friday 20th May.
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