herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

I'll be wearing my tiara around the house until I have to hand it over

Aoife Walsh. Photo: Brian McEvoy
Aoife Walsh. Photo: Brian McEvoy

THIS weekend my reign as Miss Ireland will come to an end and it's going to be emotional.

I've had one of the best years of my life and while I'm fine now, come tomorrow night when the next pageant queen is crowned, I'll be sad to say goodbye to it all.

Being Miss Ireland was an amazing experience and it'll be tearful closing that chapter.

But as a trained teacher, I had never set foot in the fashion industry prior to entering the competition more than 12 months ago and it's been fantastic in every way.

Although the year has absolutely flown by - and that's something the next girl should be aware of - the new winner will quickly find out that the contest offers a massive platform for you to step onto.

expectations

I had never modelled before and honestly never thought in a million years that I would win, so had zero expectations - and in that sense everything was very new to me.

It was a real learning curve when I was crowned, but I threw myself into it and gained so much from it.

Being Miss Ireland is 100pc a full-time job and there is a lot that goes into it that you don't realise in the beginning.

Having said that though, you meet so many people and are given the opportunity to see so much.

Had I not put myself forward, I would never had been given the chance to represent my country in Bali for five weeks, of which I was immensely proud.

I've also made a friend for life in every country around the world and I don't think many people can honestly say that.

It is genuinely amazing to be an ambassador of your home.

I got to judge some of the Miss Ireland heats, including in my own county Tipperary, and I believe it will be a very tough decision for the judges. I'm glad I'm not on the panel.

Aside from the emotion, the night will be my last hooray - and I'm having three costume changes because if there's ever an event to do that, it's Miss Ireland. Any why not?

In the meantime, I've been literally polishing my diamond tiara daily in the lead up to the competition and I'm wearing it around my house until the final second.

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