Shannon’s Emma Austin has been crowned as the 2019 Miss Clare with Katie Woods named as Miss BeLimitless.
Emma will now go straight forward to the Miss Ireland final where she will joined by Miss Limerick, Ciara O’Halloran, an engineering graduate who has been capped for Ireland in basketball and tag rugby.
An after school worker at Northside Family Resource Centre, Emma is currently studying at LIT and is part of the Holman Lee Modelling Agency.
Speaking since Thursday’s contest, Emma admitted, “I still can’t believe it” and paid tribute to the organisers, sponsors, family, friends plus the hair and make up crew whose work was washed away by her outpouring of tears upon hearing the result.
“It is a great opportunity to do something new. It really gives you a chance to raise awareness on social issues and if you win it, it affords you a lot of charity opportunities which are great,” she said prior to the event.
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Still can’t believe it!!! Thank you so much to @iammcloughney @jameshayes56 and Esme the @misslimerickofficial team for an amazing event last night sponsored by the lovely girls at @thezipyardlimerick ? a huge thank you to the judges @aoifeesull @wayne_walsh_ @sineadscurvystyle @mikie_ol for making all of us feel so comfortable throughout the whole day ☺️ my amazing dress was sponsored by @ciarasclosetlimerick I cant thank them enough for all of the support they’ve given me ? thank you so so much to the amazing team at @beautyatelier.irl and especially to @smomakeup who did my makeup last night even though I cried it all off by the end ?hugeee congratulations to all the girls who took part in both the Miss Limerick and Miss Clare my experience wouldn’t have been the same without ye and especially to the stunning winners @ciara_ohalloran_ @christinalcazar @kmw_commercial_model I’m soooo happy for ye ? the biggest thank you to the most amazing people who were there supporting me last night I couldn’t have done it without ye ??
Ennis’ Katie Woods was awarded the Miss BeLimittless title. Her honesty in highlighting personal struggles with mental health impressed all in attendance. She appeared on RTÉ Radio One with Ryan Tubridy prior to the contest and has been received well wishes since for her honesty. Earlier this year, Katie lost her foot after being hit by a train, she was the first amputee to compete in a beauty pageant in Ireland.
Established in 1947, the Miss Ireland competition is open to girls aged 17-24 and is one of the world’s longest running beauty contests which focuses not just on appearance but also charity work, talent, interview skills, appropriate social media skills, health and fitness. It aspires to build confidence and self-esteem among the entrants.
Austin is the first Clare winner in four years succeeding Elaine Galvin. Feakle’s Lauren Guilfoyle won the crown in 2013, previous winners from the county include fitness model Hazel McMahon of Newmarket-on-Fergus (2012) and Ennis actress Esther Woods (2011).
Guilfoyle who has contributed to The Clare Echo was MC on the night. Ennis’ Mikie O’Loughlin who is the Showbiz Editor of RSVP was one of the judges alongside Sinead O’Brien, Miss Ireland 2018 Aoife O’Sullivan and Wayne Walsh Mr Ireland 2018.
Patrick McLoughney was one of the co-organisers of the event, he has been thrilled with the feedback they have received since. “We had a very short window to make this happen so the pressure was on but with the event management experience and expertise of James Haynes, the Miss Ireland experience of Esma Wallace and my own knowledge of modelling and the entertainment industry we managed to put on a show that did justice to the herculean effort put in by all involved.”