Local beauty Nicole Caldwell beat off stiff competition to be placed in the final 7 at the Miss Ireland Competition on Saturday evening. Chosen from heats all over the island, 34 beauty queens competed in the grand final in Dublin.
With her stunning looks impressing the judges at the finals of the glittering competition, gorgeous brunette Nicole from Banbridge was delighted to be one of only four girls representing Northern Ireland at the prestigious event.
This was her first time competing for the Miss Ireland Crown after qualifying for the 2012 finals by winning the Miss Belfast/Antrim heat only two weeks ago.
The 19-year-old classroom assistant was thrilled to get selected as one of the final seven, considering this was her first time competing and was up against a number of very beautiful and experienced contestants.
With only a couple of weeks to prepare for the event, Nicole was supported on the night by her mum and grandmother, with a special mention to Emma Coburn from Tempest in Lisburn who sponsored several of her cocktail dresses.
The winner was Miss Mayo Marie Hughes who will represent Ireland in Miss World in Inner Mongolia, China, in August. Runners Up were Miss Wright Venue, Rebecca Maguire from Belfast, coming second for the second year running and Miss Derry, Katie McAuley — a 21-year-old student nurse — placed third. So with local Northern Ireland girls succeeding in getting placed at the event, Nicole will be keen to represent Northern Ireland again by entering next year.
Saturday night’s lavish event was hosted by morning television presenter Sinead Desmond and DJ Ray Shah in the Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin.
The judging panel included former Miss Ireland Emma Waldron, beauty expert Triona McCarthy, Dublin GAA player Eamon Fennell, celeb fitness trainer Paul Byrne, magazine editor Melanie Morris, crimper to the stars James Brown and television host Elaine Crowley.