Miss Ireland sees red
Rosanna Davison is her idol. From the moment Rosanna won the title of Miss World in 2003, current Miss Ireland Aoife has been in awe of her. “Miss Ireland is something that I’ve always wanted to do, my whole life,” says the 24-year-old Clonmel native. “It goes back to when I was very young and I watched Miss World on TV when Rosanna won. I thought that she was just the most beautiful woman in the world. I always wondered, ‘Could I be that girl?’ And it turns out I could.” She never expected to win Miss Ireland. Aoife was so sure she wouldn’t win that she had a holiday to Croatia booked for the following morning. “It was a total shock for all of us, to be honest,” she explains. “None of us thought I would actually win, including myself. I had checked in for my flight and everything.” Her life changed in one night. “It’s been amazing — totally life-changing,” she beams. “You go from just being normal one day and then, overnight, you wake up and you’re on the front of, like, seven newspapers. It’s crazy.” She’s a proud ginger. However, it has had its negative moments. “The response and attention that I got for my red hair has been unbelievable,” Aoife says. “The amount of people around the world, including in the US, who have contacted me and said, ‘You are an amazing ambassador for red hair’ is so heart-warming. I’m not going to lie; there have been times in my life when I’ve been slagged or teased because of it, but I’m really proud of my red hair. It will make me stand out in the crowd in Miss World, so I think it could give me the extra edge needed.” Aoife has three University qualifications. “I have a huge passion for education,” she explains. “I have a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Economics and Geography from University College Cork, a Master’s in Business Management from the University of Limerick and a post-grad Diploma in Education from Trinity College Dublin.”
She’s playing the future by ear. Aoife is a fully qualified teacher, but for the moment she is focusing on her Miss World goal. “I’m just going to see what happens next week,” she says. “I’m definitely taking the year out from teaching to enjoy the year as Miss Ireland, either way. It’s always been a dream of mine to be a Miss Ireland and, now that the dream has been realised, it will open up so many doors for me, so I’m just going with the flow.”
This brainbox beauty queen proudly flies the ginger flag, says Joanna Kiernan, and it may just give her a global edge.