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Model scholar Aoife takes well-earned break in Mexico

FROM an exotic trip to Mexico to a town-wide celebration – as graduation parties go, this is certainly pushing the boat out.

Miss Ireland Aoife Walsh is to receive a mayoral reception from her hometown next week to celebrate her model and academic achievements.

Aoife proved that she is more than just a pretty face when she graduated with a post-graduate degree in education from Trinity College Dublin last week.

It is the third degree for the 23-year-old who already has a BA from University College Cork and a Masters in Business Management from the University of Limerick.

In September, she flew to Indonesia for the 63rd Miss World pageant.

"I'm actually getting a mayoral reception in my hometown of Clonmel," an excited Aoife told the Diary. "This is such a huge honour for me for my town to recognise my achievements like this.

"I'm really looking forward to it and think it'll be a great day for my family and friends."

The reception is to take place once Aoife returns from an exotic vacation to Cancun in Mexico next week. Aoife flew out to the holiday destination after collecting her degree and says it is the first time that she has been able to take a break since donning the Miss Ireland crown last summer.

"I decided to take a sneaky little week away before the busy Christmas season," she explained.

"I was supposed to go to Croatia the morning after Miss Ireland so I had checked in online and everything because I was sure I wasn't going to win. I couldn't go in the end so I just decided to take some time out now."

Aoife was joined for the milestone graduation ceremony last week by her proud parents Philomena and Liam (below).

While she has been making the most of the photo-shoots and model work flooding in since she returned from the Miss World pageant, Aoife says she will never rule out further study.

"I have often considered doing a PhD but if I was going to do it, it would be in a good couple of years down the line as I have studied so hard in the past that I think I should take a little break.

"I love education so I would want to go back to it eventually, but for now I love the experiences of Miss Ireland," she added.

Despite having her pick of dating offers, Aoife said she is happy to remain footloose and fancy free for the time being.

"I have had a few offers alright which is always so lovely and flattering but I'm keeping my options open for now," said Aoife.