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Niamh Redmond wishes it to be known that she is retiring from full-time modelling at the age of 22.

FORMER Miss Ireland Niamh Redmond has turned her back on modelling at the ripe old age of 22.

The baby-faced brunette has stunned bosses by announcing she is sick of the cut-throat fashion world.

She only recently returned to a modelling career, dominated by controversy and bad luck, after passing her business studies exams.

The Dublin beauty is still seething after being passed over for the lucrative Miss Universe competition in 1997, when she was just 19.

Miss Ireland contest bosses sparked controversy by selecting the girl who finished behind her in the national competition instead.

Niamh says her short period in the business left her feeling drained.

"I was only a baby then. I was fairly innocent," she told this month's Himself magazine.

"I'm as tough as old boots now. I feel like I'm about 35."

With her best years in modelling still ahead of her, she has opted for the computing business and is to do a college Masters course.

The stunner clashed bitterly with bosses just months after being selected as the face of Ireland.

Niamh represented her country at the Miss World contest in India in 1996 but it was claimed she failed to win the coveted title because judges did not approve of a red outfit she wore at a backstage party.

Former Miss Ireland boss Krish Naidoo accused her of losing her bottle at the event.

"Niamh threw in the towel in India during the Miss Word contest," he blasted

"Niamh gave up completely," added his wife Lelia. "I kept having to tell her to put her make-up on."

The brainy beauty said she was traumatised by the contest, which provoked fury in conservative India.

"I was really upset after I saw a protester set fire to himself outside the hotel in Bangalore," she said.

The Miss World trauma was only the beginning of a trouble-filled year for the young star as her Miss Ireland dream turned into a nightmare.

Shortly after being crowned by a national panel of judges she came under fire for appearing in a contraceptives advert.

The model with top Dublin agency Assets was then left off a list of Ireland's most beautiful women.

And, as her relationship with the Miss Ireland organisers soured, then boss Kieran Murray made the decision to ditch her from the 1997 Miss Universe competition in Miami.

Instead, the Limerick businessman chose to send one of the competition's runners-up, Miss Limerick Fiona Mulalley.

The simmering row erupted in fury at the 1998 launch party to select a successor to Redmond.

Niamh's family clashed with Miss Ireland management as it emerged she had not been paid her pounds 100 a month allowance for four months.

And she revealed that she had received just one modelling job in eight months as Miss Ireland.

"Assets got me all my jobs," she said. "Without them, no-one would know who I was."

Niamh's bad luck continued a month later when her new car was broken into at Maynooth, with her mobile phone, a portfolio of pictures and designer clothes stolen.

As her Miss Ireland reign came to an end, she said: "It's been a tough year. From day to day I have enjoyed it but I had so much bad luck I wouldn't wish my year on anyone.

"Which ever girl wins should find out exactly what her duties are and where she stands. I was very naive."

Niamh has already taken up a job with an IT company and says she is enjoying life with rugby-playing boyfriend Jeremy.

She admits she "might" do some occasional part-time modelling but is more interested in finance.

And she revealed she would never pose nude. "You wouldn't want every guy in Ireland to be knowing everything about you," she said.
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Brophy, Karl
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 26, 1999
Words:627
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