A FEMALE garda who patrols the streets of inner city Dublin is combining her job in fighting crime with a career on the catwalk.
Gorgeous model Ciara Quinn spends half her day modelling clothes before donning her blue uniform for a shift at Dublin's Store Street Garda Station.
The Meath native says she "always knew" she wanted to join the gardai but also wants to prove that being girly doesn't impede her job in crime enforcement.
Ciara's modelling career began to take off recently after she was crowned the Face Of Ireland 2011 in a major modelling contest.
"Everyone has a stereotype of female guards, but things have totally changed now -- there are more women in my unit than men and any one of my colleagues would be able to walk into the industry," insists Ciara, who added that she and her colleagues at Store Street Garda Station are "just as girly as everyone else".
Ciara has now signed up the Rebecca De Havalland model agency in Dublin, along with rugby legend Mick Doyle's daughter Emma Louise (22).
On the books just over a month, she is juggling her routine job as well as her passion for modelling, but feels it is worth it.
"Balancing it all is tough, I could be up at 7am for a shoot until 5pm, and then go on to do my shift at work from 6pm until 2am, it's very tiring, but I'm motivated and I want it really bad," she said.
No two days are the same for Ciara when she's in uniform and she has to be 'on the ball' the entire time.
"Some days can be scary but mostly I really enjoy it.
"I'm still afraid of spiders, but would be able to walk down a dark street at night -- you definitely get braver in certain situations."
Although she won out over dozens of hopefuls representing their counties to bag the title, Ciara maintains that she is treated no differently at the office.
"I kept it quiet at first because I wasn't sure how it would go down - I expected some slagging, but they're all thrilled for me.
"Everyone has been so supportive, but no-one is treating me differently -- you're just one of the lads at the end of the day."
The leggy brunette joined the force when she was 22 and says her job helps her maintain her figure.
"I don't go to the gym at all, I walk for eight hours a day every day, so my exercise comes from that."
Engaged to her colleague and partner of four years, 28-year-old Mark Murphy, from Cork, Miss Quinn admits that gaining the confidence to enter the cut-throat modelling industry was as tough as some of the situations she encounters on duty.
It was her fiance Mark who gave her the push she needed. "People would have mentioned throughout the years that I should get into it, but I never did until this year.
"I never had the confidence to bring myself forward for it before and it was all new to me, but I'm delighted now that I did it.
"I want to keep both up roles as long as I can."