MISS Ireland organiser Krishna Naidoo has insisted the beauty pageant will go ahead as planned this year, despite suffering a major setback.
The 35-year-old businessman, who shares the franchise with his father Krish, has told the Herald that the country's aspiring catwalk queens would be battling it out as usual and hoped to announce full details of the contest soon.
The current Miss Ireland is Derry law student Laura Patterson (20) -- but speculation on the future of the pageant has been mounting. Questions were asked about the future of the competition after Diva Next Door's Stephen Saleh confirmed that he was no longer investing in or producing the 2010 event.
Yet Krishna, who took over running the contest from Andrea Roche two years ago, has vowed that the 'show will go on' and remains unaffected by the decision by Saleh not to get involved in the contest.
"It is still going ahead as usual. We want to hold it in August but we were waiting until Miss Universe Ireland had their launch. We expect to be kicking things off in the next five weeks or so," he said. He echoed Stephen's comments about their business relationship and insisted there was no negativity between them and there had not been a dispute.
"There was no fall out with him, it was nothing like that," he continued. "They just produced the show last year but this year we may do it on our own and take over the entire running of it.
"We usually only launch it in April or March so that will happen as usual and we will be announcing details of what's going on in the next month or so."
Saleh released a statement saying how "after producing a successful Miss Ireland 2009 myself and my partners have decided to withdraw from the Miss Ireland brand."
He also wished the Naidoo family all the best with their future endeavours. Krishna took over when previous organiser Andrea Roche set up rival contest Miss Universe Ireland.
The former beauty queen has confirmed that her contest, which crowned Diana Donnelly as last year's winner, is scheduled to take place in the autumn.
"There's a lot to organise but I'm provisionally looking at having it in September," she said.