'Miss Universe Ireland should not be worried by Isil threat', says former winner Lynn Kelly
Published 10/08/2016 | 02:30
A former holder of the Miss Universe Ireland title has insisted future pageant hopefuls should not be deterred by the threat of terrorism.
Isil terrorists have called for an attack on the beauty pageant which is scheduled to take place in the Philippines in January 2017.
A branch of the jihadi terror group called for "everyone who can" to launch attacks at the event, according to reports of posts on social media channels used by the group.
Dublin native Lynn Kelly, who represented Ireland in Miss Universe in 2008, insisted pageant hopefuls should not be afraid to compete in next year's competition.
"I still would have done it," she said yesterday. "I totally live by the attitude that if we let them rule our lives, then they are winning. You can't live in fear of terrorism. Fingers crossed that it is just a threat."
Miss Universe was mentioned in an online tutorial that explained how to make a suicide bomb.
"You can't live in fear, that's my motto. Nobody knows what's going to happen tomorrow," Lynn said.
"You need to just get on with it and live your life. You can't let that influence your decision in any way. They're just looking for another stage to stand on."
Several well-known models, including Rosanna Davison, Rozanna Purcell and Amanda Brunker, all got their start in pageants, with Davison famously the only the Irish winner of Miss World and Purcell coming in seventh during her turn at Miss Universe.
Despite the threat issued to the high-profile event, it did not cast a pall over the launch of the Miss Ireland competition on Tuesday night - which selects the Irish representative for Miss World.
The regional heats have been completed and 35 hopefuls from across the country have been selected to compete.
Miss Ireland organiser Brendan Scully pointed out that a terrorist attack could happen anywhere.
"We could be bombed on Grafton Street tomorrow, who knows? It is like going anywhere at the moment - we just don't know."