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Kamal is Ireland's Seoul man

Mr Ireland Kamal Ibrahim will be jetting off to Seoul to represent us at the annual Mr World contest -- after finding sponsorship in order to foot the flight of almost €1,000.

Luckily Kamal, who is the second cousin of Hollywood legend Danny DeVito, managed to get help from his pal, Limerick pub-owner Ken O'Connell of The Old Quarter Bar, who agreed to stump up the cash.

"I was very lucky when Ken agreed to help me out," Kamal said.

"I'm heading over on March 9 and I'll be there for three weeks taking part in different challenges, which will guage our different strengths and weaknesses," he added

The Diary has learned that the future of the national contest, which was held for the first time last year, is looking bleak, after chief organiser, Greg Ryan (25) lost his right to the franchise.

Limerick born, Ryan, who is a former member of Valerie Roe's old boyband Zoo, reinvented himself as a talent spotter last year, searching through hundreds of aspiring male models to choose eventual winner Kamal (24).

"I ran the event last year but the company was sold and basically I lost my franchise," he explained.

"Unfortunately now the future of the contest and the management of Kamal is totally out of my hands. It's the responsibility of the Miss Ireland office.

"I think Kamal's a great guy and he'll do well in the competition. I wish him all the best," he added.