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No glamour for beauty contestants

MISS Ireland finalists experienced a swift departure from the usual glitz and glamour of the competition when they travelled to Mayo to take part in a boot camp-style break.

There was a flurry of excitement at Heuston Station yesterday morning as more than 30 girls boarded a train to Westport to take part in a range of activities with Adventure Islands, an outdoor pursuits company.


Challenges on land and sea include kayaking, combat games and the zip line wire.

Finalist Laura McCormack said: "It's been an amazing day. I've just completed an archery duel and you can really see the girls' competitive sides coming out."

The self-confessed adrenaline junkie said the day was an excellent bonding exercise.

"Nobody cares about if their mascara has run or if they break a nail. A couple of girls are afraid of heights so we were able to give them lots of encouragement to complete the zip wire activity."

The 19-year old entered the contest at the end of May through a competition run by 2fm.

Laura was crowned 'Miss Personality' by listeners to the Tubridy Show who voted for a finalist based solely on the women's radio interviews.


Laura, who is an accounting student with the National College of Ireland, said the competition is not what she expected.

"I don't even want to think of the looming final because I will be gutted when the contest is over, it has been such an amazing summer and I have made so many new friends with the other girls," she said.

The trials the girls face over the three-day trip will be a contributing factor in the 
grand final of Miss Ireland on July 19.

The girl who performs best in the activities is guaranteed a place in the top 15.