*Ivanna McMahon. Photograph: Brian McEvoy

IVANNA MCMAHON now has a 100 percent record when it comes to beauty competitions.

On Saturday night, she was crowned Miss Ireland, having been named Miss Munster in the past two months.

A doctor, Ivanna becomes the 75th Miss Ireland. Two years ago, she graduated with a medical degree from UCC and is currently on a career break.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, an elated Ivanna admitted, “I’m absolutely thrilled, it was a big surprise but I’m absolutely delighted, I’m honoured and grateful to get the opportunity to represent Ireland at Miss World”.

She succeeds Pamela Uba as Miss Ireland. Miss Dublin Central Jasmine Gerhardt and Miss Dublin Katie O’Connor were the respective first and second runners up on the night while Ennis’ Derinn Finnerty was Miss Clare and among the 36 finalists. She is the daughter of Catherine and Brian and the younger sister of Edward.

At the beginning of this year, Ivanna decided to enter the competition and explained her reasons for doing so. “I graduated in 2020 during COVID and that was a stressful busy time. It was really great to be working in a hospital, I enjoyed working with everyone and how everyone pulled together during it but working through COVID made me realise how important it was to have no regrets in my life. I didn’t want to wake up in ten years time say I wish I pushed myself more, I’ve always loved fashion and clothes but I decided to put myself out there and do something completely different”.

Judges were wowed with Ivanna’s rendition of Cosmic Love by Florence and the Machine on the harp. Those in music circles will have come across the Barefield native who played locally with Padraic O’Reilly as well as competing in county, provincial and All-Ireland Fleadhanna. “I was delighted to bring in music as my talent, I love performing. Playing the harp, our national symbol on a world stage is going to be amazing”.

Perks of Miss Ireland include a lucrative modelling agency contract and a host of prizes including jewellery, gowns, professional photo shoots, hair and beauty products. Dr McMahon will also jet off to represent Ireland at the Miss World Festival which is televised in over 100 countries worldwide. She will get to enjoy a paid trip to the Maldives to do a photoshoot in Autumn.

Getting to travel to the Maldives “will be incredible,” Ivanna predicted. The location for this year’s Miss World competition has yet to be decided but it will bring an opportunity for the Clare woman to clock up some more travel miles.

Remarkably, Ivanna has only entered two competitions of this vein but she has prevailed in both of them. During her time as a student at Gaelcholáiste an Chláir, she also won a modelling show. “It was funny, I won that show. I’m sure there’s an old picture online, they picked me as the top model of the night, they had a big blow up cheque, I was so excited at the time. It was the first time I had won something like that”.

Bigger and better things have since followed. As Miss Ireland, McMahon is hopeful of bringing more awareness to different charities including her chosen beneficiary, Irish Red Cross – Clare Area which she held a concert in aid of at The Temple Gate Hotel in the past fortnight.

“Overwhelming positivity” has been experienced by Ivanna over recent days. She paid tribute to everyone involved in Miss Ireland, her predecessor Pamela Uba and fellow contestants for their support.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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