Thursday 8 December 2016

'Miss Universe Ireland should not be worried by Isil threat', says former winner Lynn Kelly

Sean O'Grady

Published 10/08/2016 | 02:30

Lynn Kelly
Lynn Kelly
Samantha Powell (L), Miss New Zealand 2008, Lynn Kelly (C), Miss Ireland 2007, and Sun Lee, Miss Korea 2008 at the 57th annual Miss Universe competition which will take place in the central city of Nha Trang on July 14, 2008.
Aoife McGeane, Niamh Kennedy, Niamh Boyle and Anne Marie Blake. Photo: Brian McEvoy
Miss Universe Winner Lynn Kelly in 2008
Aoife McGeane, Niamh Kennedy, Niamh Boyle and Anne Marie Blake at the launch of Miss Ireland 2016 ,in association with Bellamianta Tan. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Lynn Kelly at Miss Universe 2008
Lynn Kelly pictured at Belvedere Vodka Ireland’s exclusive pre-party ahead of Ireland’s first screening of the 24th Bond adventure, SPECTRE. Photo: Anthony Woods

A former holder of the Miss Universe Ireland title has insisted future pageant hopefuls should not be deterred by the threat of terrorism.

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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.

Miss Universe Winner Lynn Kelly in 2008
Miss Universe Winner Lynn Kelly in 2008

"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."

Read more: Irish UFC star Aisling Daly hits back at model Lynn Kelly's fitness regime: 'Vomiting from training is not normal'

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.

Lynn Kelly pictured at Belvedere Vodka Ireland’s exclusive pre-party ahead of Ireland’s first screening of the 24th Bond adventure, SPECTRE. Photo: Anthony Woods
Lynn Kelly pictured at Belvedere Vodka Ireland’s exclusive pre-party ahead of Ireland’s first screening of the 24th Bond adventure, SPECTRE. Photo: Anthony Woods

"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."

Read more: Model Lynn Kelly on that controversial photo: 'You're about to do a show where your ass is a foot away from people's faces... That's the reality'

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.

Aoife McGeane, Niamh Kennedy, Niamh Boyle and Anne Marie Blake at the launch of Miss Ireland 2016 ,in association with Bellamianta Tan. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Aoife McGeane, Niamh Kennedy, Niamh Boyle and Anne Marie Blake at the launch of Miss Ireland 2016 ,in association with Bellamianta Tan. Picture: Brian McEvoy

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."

Irish Independent

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