MISS Ireland beauty Laura Patterson (20) has returned to her job in Tesco's to make ends meet due to her reluctance to move to Dublin.
The Herald can reveal how the Derry store now has its most glamorous employee back on its payroll, just two months after she was forced to quit for security reasons.
"They advised me to take the time off because they can't offer me the protection I might need to guarantee my safety," she said.
Yet the supermarket on Derry's Crescent Link kept her job open for her after giving her unpaid leave and the law student at the University of Ulster has now returned to her former position.
The previous co-organiser of the Miss Ireland contest, Stephen Saleh, explained: "She's back working in Tesco's part-time alright after leaving it up for a while.
"The fact is she needs to make money and make ends meet. It's better than her sitting at home doing nothing twiddling her thumbs.
"Modelling doesn't pay half as much as people think and a lot of the girls have to get part-time jobs to tide them over."
He also admitted that the statuesque blonde, who's with Converse Models up north, has been hindered in the modelling world by living so far from Dublin. She is very settled in her family home in Derry.
Previous winners of the coveted title have included well-known faces including Aoife Cogan, Rosanna Davison and Sarah Morrissey, but Laura has not been as heavily featured during her year as title holder.
"She's only 20-years-old and is a very hard-working girl. The only downside is that she's a homebird and that's conflicting with the nature of her Miss Ireland title as pretty much everything happens in Dublin. She would be doing better career-wise if she did live here but she doesn't want to move down here. She wants to stay in Derry and that probably is costing her jobs," Stephen continued.
Stephen, who is not involved in the 2010 event, revealed how he was actually the one who spearheaded opening up the competition to include the six counties in the North -- and plans are afoot to continue running it as an all-island contest.
"My attitude is to let them do what they want at the end of the day. A lot of girls out there might think that modelling is something that it's not. But people like Rosanna work very hard for their careers and their profiles and are always doing press calls," he explained.
"The only real issue with having a girl from the country winning it is if they don't drive and have to rely on public transport, they do miss out on modelling jobs."