Mr ireland opens up about his bullying hell
Mr Ireland Karl Bowe has revealed how he was bullied during his childhood and said now he wants to help young people who are going through the same thing.
Karl got a tough time for being over-weight when he was younger and now he wants to tell young people who might be having a hard time that there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
"When I was younger I was bullied, mainly because of my weight," Karl told the Herald.
"It wasn't physical as such. It was more verbal. I remember a few years ago I didn't have my friends, I didn't have many people to talk to, and felt I was backed up against a wall."
The Crumlin native is going to visit his former schools to raise awareness because he feels that bullying is far worse than when he was younger.
"I was bullied because of my weight, but back then there was no social media, no Facebook or Twitter.
"Nowadays, bullying is after getting a lot worse - cyber-bullying is a huge problem and unfortunately there are a lot kids out there that are taking their own lives because they're being bullied."
Karl revealed that he was bullied from the age of nine until he was 16, but after being crowned Mr Ireland he knows things can get better.
"I was bullied but then fast forward a few years and I've become Mr Ireland and it was great to achieve that," Karl said.
"Bullying will never go away - it happens in every generation. A lot of young people tend to hold all of that stuff in and some kids think that they're okay and bullying doesn't bother them but it does, and I just want to encourage them to talk about it," he added.
The 25-year-old is not only visiting schools, he's also hoping to forge an acting career.
He has landed parts in Jennifer Maguire's RTE comedy The Centre, as well as a minor role in Penny Dreadful.
The Sky series stars Josh Hartnett in the lead part and for Karl, it was a lifetime achievement to work with the American heartthrob.