Tantrums and tiaras as Miss Ireland stripped of title for being too old at 25 to be beauty queen
JUST days after she was handed her Miss Ireland crown, Marie Hughes has been dethroned after it emerged she was too old to enter the beauty competition.
Miss Hughes was officially stripped of her title on Sunday after organisers inadvertently discovered during a routine conversation that she is 25 -- and not 21 as originally believed.
At a meeting to discuss her role and responsibilities as Miss Ireland, organisers were informed that Miss Hughes will be 26 at the time of the Miss World Pageant in Inner Mongolia, China, in August -- making her too old to compete.
Miss Hughes, who was representing Mayo in the All-Ireland competition on Saturday, beat off stiff competition from 34 other beauty queens to take the title.
Organisers said last night that once the information came to light, they contacted Miss World officials to clarify the rules on the age of entrants.
"We are very fond of Marie and wish her all the very best in the future -- she is a beautiful girl both inside and out and we have no doubt that she will have a great career ahead," said Sean Montague from Miss Ireland.
The surprise news has paved the way for the competition's first runner-up, brunette Rebecca Maguire (20), to represent Ireland in China in four months.
Catwalk Modelling Agency, who represents Miss Hughes, released a statement yesterday saying they acted "in good faith" in entering the Galway model in the competition and were "very disappointed with the way that matters unfolded."