Beauties to battle it out as Holly hands over Miss Ireland crown

Fiona Dillon

HOLLY Carpenter will hand over her Miss Ireland crown tonight in front of a room full of stilettos, fake tan and hairspray.

Thirty-four girls are set to battle it out of the title at Dublin's Ballsbridge Hotel.

The stakes are high, because the winner will represent Ireland in the upcoming Miss World Competition, to be held in Inner Mongolia. And a former winner will be entered into a new Miss Ireland Hall of Fame.

Organiser of the event, Sean Montague, told the Herald: "This year for the first time, we will be launching the Miss Ireland Hall of Fame.

"We will be singling out one person, a former Miss Ireland, to enter into the Hall of Fame."

The idea was to look at what they have done with their career since they won the title. That former winner will be presented with a customised Louise Kennedy crystal gift, Montague revealed.

A host of celebrities are set to attend the event which will be hosted by Ireland AM's Sinead Desmond and celebrity DJ Ray Shah. The judges will include top celebrity hair stylist, James Brown, who is a friend of iconic model Kate Moss.

Also on the judging panel is Paul Byrne, a fitness trainer who has worked with many Irish celebrities, Elaine Crowley, the TV3 television presenter, and Emma Waldron, who won the crown in 2010.

Mr Montague explained that the guests would arrive at the hotel at around 6pm for a drinks reception before dinner.

"Once the dinner is over, we start the 2012 show. The finalists come from all over the country," he said. The numbers will be whittled down to 15, then to seven, then to three before the winner is announced.

He said that this year, the organisers were showcasing a host of Irish talent, with Dublin band The Fibbs among those who are set to perform.