MISS IRELAND : Despite the sneers, there's life in the old girl yet
From the start it's caused controversy but it appears that the Irish beauty pageant is now more popular than ever. Kim Bielenberg reports
There are only two types of woman in Ireland who are still known as 'Miss': primary school teachers who command some respect and the women who become Miss Ireland.
Back in the 1970s, feminists might have hoped that beauty pageants such as the Miss Ireland contest would be dead and buried by the turn of the century. A feminist tract of the time described a beauty contest as "turning beautiful young women into prize cattle". Not long before she committed suicide in 2000, Rosemarie Frankland, the winner of Miss World 1961 was scathing about the contest: "Beauty queens are dressed up and paraded down the catwalk just so some fellow can get a quick thrill."