Local ladies hope to dazzle at Miss Ireland

Aine Fitzgerald


Aine Fitzgerald

A BEAUTIFUL, blonde, Limerick student is hoping her positive mental attitude will earn her top honours at the Miss Ireland competition this weekend.

A BEAUTIFUL, blonde, Limerick student is hoping her positive mental attitude will earn her top honours at the Miss Ireland competition this weekend.

Jemma Burke, 20, who lives in Corbally will join the most attractive ladies in the land on stage at the D4 Berkeley Hotel in Dublin for the annual beauty pageant.

“I am just going to be positive because it is a great experience,” said Jemma who is originally from Ballybunion but has been living in Limerick for the past three years.

Jemma will take to the catwalk wearing a full length, Rachel Gilbert white dress with embellishment from the Ivory Closet.

“I have to wear a cocktail dress as well which is a strapless, body-con, gold dress – Emma Waldron (Miss Ireland 2010) was wearing it on Miriam. And we have to wear a bikini as well, a black bikini, we will just go with it – it will be grand,” she said.

Jemma, who is studying Marketing at LIT - she is going into her third year - works part time at Brown Thomas and the Icon nightclub.

Cheering her on, on Saturday night, will be her parents, Bernadette and Gerard, as well as other family members.

“I’m nervous but excited at the same time. We have to go up on Thursday for rehearsals and there is a barbecue and we will be doing Ireland AM on Friday. Saturday then is the final,” she explained.

“I have so much confidence since I went for the Miss Limerick, my confidence has really grown,” she smiled.

Joining Jemma on the stage in Dublin will be Esmé Mansergh Wallace from Tipperary Town.

Esmé was spotted by local model agent, Celia Holman Lee, during the Miss Ireland heats and was chosen to represent Tipperary in the pageant.

Esmé works in the leisure club of the Dundrum House Hotel and Country Club as a beauty therapist.

Sporty Esmé is also a great horse woman and has represented Ireland in the sport as well as being the current Irish champion in side saddle.

“If I won Miss Ireland I would use the opportunity to do some meaningful charity work as well as furthering my career and, or course, having some fun! It would be a great honour for me to represent my country at Miss World and I would do my absolute best to do both county and country proud,” she said.

Celebrity hosts Sinead Desmond from TV3s Ireland AM and Q102’s Ray Shah will introduce each of the contestants on stage during the show on Saturday night.

The show, which is one of the most anticipated events on the social calendar, will feature aerial acrobatics, stunning fashion showcases and an eclectic mix of music and entertainment.

The winner of Miss Ireland 2011 will receive a lucrative modelling contract and a host of prizes. Miss Ireland 2011 will also get the use of a brand new SEAT Car for the year of her reign.

Heats have been running all over the country to find contestants from each county with beauty, poise and personality to take part in the forthcoming Miss Ireland 2011 competition.

This year’s judges includes international supermodel and Karora Tan brand ambassador Sophie Anderton, former Miss Ireland Sarah Morrissey, trainer to the stars Paul Byrne, Ireland’s first top model and beauty expert, Laura Bermingham, TV3 newscaster and Midday presenter, Elaine Crowley, TV3 XPOSE producer Debbie O Donnell, Celebrity Salon’s Elaine Butler Doolan, Aspire Drinks MD Neil Blewitt and Krishna Naidoo.

Miss Ireland 2011 will then go on to represent Ireland in the Miss World pageant which takes place in London on November 8.