herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

If Miss Ireland is really relevant how many past winners can you name?

The Miss Ireland contest wouldn't feel right unless there was some feeble attempt to drum up controversy, and last weekend's pageant was no different.

An innocuous comment by one of the contestants about not having been fed all day was seized on as suggesting that the young woman in particular was marked down and prevented from winning.

The organisers sought to play it down, insisting that the winner was crowned "fair and square", and that stumbling over an answer on stage would not be fatal to someone's chances.

"It's not about being a pretty face or giving all the right answers," said judge Aisling O'Loughlin. "Ultimately, this is a girl that has to fit in with the Miss World competition and we all had to think about it from that perspective, how she's going to tackle that contest."

Curiously enough, Aisling then went on to compliment the winner, Jessica Hayes, on the very physical characteristics which she had just claimed are not important.

GLOWING

"You could see she was quite healthy and eats well and exercises," said Aisling. "She had glowing skin and glowing hair."

Stressing that the competition isn't old-fashioned, Aisling used the example of Olivia Tracey and Sarah Morrissey.

"These women are ambassadors... they're smart, sassy businesswomen," a description which is not exactly 100pc accurate.

Both are undoubtedly smart and sassy but Olivia is a part-time model and journalist, while Sarah is a full-time model, neither of which technically constitutes what I would consider a "businesswoman".

And if Miss Ireland is still relevant, why name check two people who won the contest in 1984 and 2006 respectively?

I wonder how many of the winners from the intervening eight years Aisling, or indeed anyone else, can name?

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