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Emma ready to go back to school after handing over crown

REIGNING Miss Ireland Emma Waldron has vowed to take a leaf out of glamorous teacher Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain's book when she returns to the classroom next September.

The bubbly beauty queen explained how she will be trading her high-flying life as a catwalk queen for a stint in front of the blackboard this autumn to complete the final year of her degree as a primary school teacher at St Pat's training college in Drumcondra.

And Emma (22), who is due to go out on teaching practice immediately upon her return, admits she admires former Rose of Tralee Aoibhinn's no-nonsense approach when it comes to separating her public persona from her role as a teacher.

"I can't wait to go back to college and, I suppose, regain a bit of normality in my life," she laughed. "I'm hoping to keep up the modelling work and keep all that stuff going at the same time as well, but that will be my main priority for the year.

"I know myself if I don't do it this year then I'd never go back. I'll be going out on teaching practice straight away. I'm going back to the same school I was in before, I'd rather not say where.

"It will be a bit strange going in at first after being in the public eye but I suppose you just have to lay down the law straight away and establish that you won't take any nonsense.

"I think Aoibhinn (Ni Shuilleabhain) is a great role model. You just have to keep the two things separate like she does," she added. Emma went on to explain how she is looking forward to taking a family break in Turkey next month before hitting the books again.

The leggy AR model says her long-term boyfriend, Manners, will be unable to accompany the close-knit family on their trip, given that he is committed to being in Dublin for work at the time.

Prior to her sun holiday Emma can look forward to handing over her Miss Ireland crown at this year's star-studded ceremony at the D4 Hotel in Ballsbridge on August 13.

She says she is hoping to work with her successor and help her prepare for this year's international pageant on November 6 in London.

Emma says: "The year has absolutely flown by. It's been a great year, I've had a ball. I've seen some of the girls and they all look great.

"I would definitely like to work with them and give them some advice. They're lucky this year in that they'll have a bit of time to prepare before they head off. I think I had something like nine days to get ready after winning the Miss Ireland contest," she added.

Among the strong contenders for this year's crown is Miss University Holly Carpenter, the grand-daughter of late Terry Keane.

TV3's Elaine Crowley and Celebrity Salon star Elaine Butler Doolin will both be on the judging panel, while TV3's Sinead Desmond will host the pageant finals.