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Miss Ireland ready to gown up at Bantry Hospital

March 7th, 2024 2:00 PM

Miss Ireland ready to gown up at Bantry Hospital Image
Ivanna is a fluent Irish speaker having attended the Gaelscoil in Ennis, Co Clare, and she plays many instruments.

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MISS Ireland is looking forward to starting work at Bantry Hospital – if she does not win Miss World this weekend.

Dr Ivanna McMahon, 27, a graduate of University College Cork, will begin her four-month stint in Bantry as part of the National GP Training Scheme and has already found somewhere to live near the hospital.

She spent the first year of the course in Tralee and rotates between general medical specialties, including palliative care, which she says can be difficult at times.

‘Sometimes you have to tell people that what they are suffering from is terminal and that’s not easy,’ says Ivanna, who hails from Co Clare. ‘It’s usually handled by a senior doctor but I have been part of those conversations.’

Along with 112 other contestants, she is currently preparing for the 71st Miss World taking place at the Jio Convention Centre in Mumbai, India.

The group spent a week in Delhi, visiting places such as the final resting place of some of the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi, known as the Father of the Nation, before moving to Mumbai last Monday.

Since then, contestants have been flat-out rehearsing for the glittering final and for the talent challenge.

'I have had a fantastic time out here and made a lot of friends but I know that only one person can win and there are 113 really accomplished and beautiful women in the competition. If I was lucky enough to be the winner I would put my life on hold for a year in order to carry out my duties as Miss World visiting countries all over the world where I could put my medical knowledge to good use,’ added Ivanna.

She said Bantry Hospital understand and have been very supportive.

She has brought with her 10 different t-shirts emblazoned with the logos of Irish charities including Pieta, the Irish Red Cross, and the Julian Benson Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

She also supports dyslexia cause, being dyslexic herself. ‘It manifests itself differently from person to person. With me it was a nightmare to read out loud in class. Being Miss Ireland, my confidence has improved. I know now that if you make a mistake, it’s not the end of the world.’

A fluent Irish speaker who attended the Gaelscoil in Ennis, Ivanna plays several instruments including violin and bodhrán and she brought her harp all the way from Ireland to play in the Talent Challenge in the five-star Aurika Hotel ballroom at a gala dinner.

She played Cosmic Love by Florence and the Machine, and received rapturous applause.

The Miss World contest has changed beyond recognition from the 70s and 80s when it was one night at London’s Royal Albert Hall with contestants teetering across the stage in swimsuits and high heels.

There hasn’t been a swimsuit round for years and today’s Miss World is more of a three or four-week marathon in different countries.

The whole focus has changed and ‘beauty with a purpose’ is the most important aspect of it. A registered charity, over the years, it has raised more than €920m for sick and disadvantaged children.

The girls have to complete ‘challenges’ before the big night including sports, multimedia skills, modelling/ fashion, and head to head public speaking which took place in the awesome G20 Summit Conference Centre in Delhi, where world leaders sat in September.

‘Speaking in the same con- ference hall where world leaders debated the issues of the day back in September, really was incredible.

It was such a privilege to have had that experience,’ said Ivanna.

The final and most important challenge is to show ‘beauty with a purpose’. All these challenges accrue points that propel contestants into the last 40.

The final starts at 2.15 pm on Saturday, March 9th and can be streamed live at

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