Being a Former Miss Ireland, or FMI as I like to shorten it to, can be a ticket to success. I met Vivienne Doyle, who was Miss Ireland in 1998, last Saturday night in Lillies. She and her husband, pilot Kevin Quinn, gave birth to baby Daniel 5 months ago and are finding the experience to be a big, but rewarding, change to their lives.
A model for many years with Celia Holman - Lee's agency, Vivienne may go back to the catwalk, but ultimately wishes to open her own fashion boutique and is currently looking into possibilities.
This got me thinking about the other FMIs that I know. Amanda Brunker won in 1991 and went ton to model and set up her own greeting card business. She is now a social diarist with the Sunday World newspaper and has sucessfully pursued a TV career, recently presenting her own show, The Dinner Party.
Pamela Flood won Miss Ireland in 1993. A highly successfull model, Pamela went on to become a continuity announcer with Network 2. She went on to become a TV presenter with many UK channels is now co-presenter of one of RTE's top entertainment shows, Off The Rails.
Miss Ireland in 1997, the year before Vivienne, was Andrea Roche. She has since become one of Ireland's top models and regularly appears as a fashion presenter on Ireland AM. She also now owns the Miss Ireland franchise with Mags Humphries, and together they are responsible for holding the Finalé every year in the City West Hotel.
Our most famous FMI is, of course Rosanna Davison, who went on to scoop the ultimate prize of being crowned Miss World last year. She is now the countries most in-demand model and attracts attention wherever she goes. However, not one to let the fame go to her head (it helps having Chris de Burgh as her father), Rosanna has since returned to her studies and intends on graduating from college.
I guess it depends how an FMI capitalises on her success. They are regularly written about in the gissip columns and social diaries, and with that amount of press interest it should be easier to sustain a lucrative career after the crown has been handed back. Whether that career be a vacuous Paris Hiltonesque one or a Mother Teresa help-the-children one, it doesn't matter. Winning Miss Ireland is a fantastic spring board to bigger and better things.