Miss Buck Whaleys Jessica Hayes was crowned Miss Ireland 2014 last night at the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin.

The 20-year-old Cork student told the Sunday World it was a night she would never forget.

Speaking to the newspaper, she said: “I am just so shocked. I am just so, so happy. I entered last year and thought I would not be as nervous this time but I was ten times worse.

“I hoped for the best and to get in the top eight was absolutely fantastic but when they announced I had won I just could not believe it.

“I am supposed to go back to college to continue my business studies but I think that’s on hold now.”

Jessica beat off competition from 35 other contestants, and was chosen by a nine-strong panel of judges, including former Miss Ireland winners Olivia Tracey and Sarah Morrissey, TV3 Xposé presenter Aisling O’Loughlin, Miss World representative Krishna Naidoo and Dublin Housewives star Roz Flanagan.

Miss Ireland Jessica Hayes