Maedhbh Kelly, 18, Montenotte, Cork city, psychology
What are your hobbies and interests?
Fashion, reading, relaxing with friends, surfing.
Why should you be Miss Universe?
Because I'd represent my country perfectly -- I'm friendly, hard-working, honest and warm, just like any Irish person should be.
Physically, how would you rate yourself out of 10 and why?
Like most other girls it depends. On a bad day, I'd give myself a two, but on a good day I'd give myself an eight.
Do you have a boyfriend?
What do you look for in a man?
Sense of humour is definitely the most important thing.
What is the most important thing you have learned in life?
To put yourself out there and make your own luck -- otherwise you'll just regret the opportunities that pass you by.
What Irish politician would you most rate?
To be honest, what little I hear about the Irish government is almost entirely negative, so I don't admire any of them in particular, although I wish I could say I did -- what Ireland needs is an Obama-type politician!
If you could implement one thing in this country to help us out of the recession what would it be?
I don't know much about economics, but it's pretty clear to everyone that there's no magic solution to Ireland's situation. I think the most helpful thing the Irish public can do is adjust to life without the Celtic Tiger, tighten our belts, and find a way to enjoy life without being so materialistic.
What's your ultimate dream?
To become a top criminal psychologist.
Why have you entered this competition?
Purely for the experience. It's not the kind of thing my family or friends would have expected me to do, but I just see participating in the competition as a cool thing to achieve over the summer.
If you were on a desert island and could bring three items, what would these be and why?
My iPod, because I couldn't live without music, a good book to pass the time and some factor 50, because Irish skin and sunshine do not mix.
Are you a good girlfriend?
I hope I am.
Would you consider yourself traditional in any way?
Although superficially I see myself as pretty modern, I would like to think I also hold some traditional moral values. For example, I believe family is extremely important, and I can't imagine not having them with me to share all my achievements in life.
If you were to have plastic surgery what would you have done?
I don't think plastic surgery is something I would ever consider.