ORGANISERS at the Miss Ireland pageant have said they are in a "complete panic" after losing the coveted crown, just two weeks before the finals.
Sharon Steacy from Miss Ireland told the Herald that the organisation is absolutely "devastated" that the €3,500 crown has gone missing after a photo shoot which took place this week.
The current Miss Ireland finalists were striking a pose in Buck Whaleys on Leeson Street this Tuesday, modelling clothes from fashion chain Debenhams.
Sean Montague of modelling agency BScene brought along the sparkling crown to show it to the contestants but after packing up all the clothes and sending the girls home, he realised that the pricey piece was missing.
"We are devastated. It has always been the same crown for Miss Ireland. We are in a complete panic," Sharon explained.
"Sean brought it out to the shoot for the girls to see it and afterwards realised it was gone."
The Miss Ireland boss explained that the crown was placed in a black bag on set but when Sean returned to Bucks, the bag was gone.
Normally, the crown is kept in a heavy case when it leaves the pageant headquarters, and when it's not being used it is safe and secure in a glass box.
Miss University Holly Carpenter, who is tipped to win this year's competition, was on the shoot in question. Speaking to the Herald today, she said none of the girls wore the crown on the shoot.
"I was at Buck Whaleys for the shoot, and I didn't hear anything about the crown going missing. But no one was putting it on, no one was touching it, I was too superstitious to try it on."
Sharon confirmed that none of the girls wore the item and appealed for anyone with any information about the crown to contact the Miss Ireland office or BScene.
"The crown is so sentimental to us, it's always been here. Even Andrea Roche wore it before, it's the original," she said.
Meanwhile, current Miss Ireland Emma Waldron said she had no idea the crown was lost but added: "I really hope they find it."