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New Miss NI Emma Carswell more than a beauty queen

Winner studies psychology at UU and is a volunteer at suicide prevention charity

By Rebecca Black

Published 17/05/2016

The new Miss NI Emma Carswell
The new Miss NI Emma Carswell
Miss World 2015 Mireia Lalaguna of Spain poses with Emma (left) and fellow competitor Toni Gregg in Belfast yesterday ahead of last night’s final

A psychology student who volunteers at a suicide prevention charity has been crowned Miss Northern Ireland 2016.

Emma Carswell, who will grace numerous newspaper and magazine covers over the next year, volunteers at Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention NI.

The 21-year-old Co Down beauty's crowning last night was the pinnacle of a thrilling finale to the competition, sponsored by Therapie Clinic.

The glittering event at the Europa Hotel in Belfast was compered by UTV's Marc Mallett and Zoe Salmon, the 1999 winner.

Some 17 former Miss Northern Irelands including Lucy Evangelista McCullough, Lori Moore, Rebekah Shirley and competition organiser Alison Campbell, applauded as 2015 winner Leanne McDowell passed the baton to Emma.

One of the highlights of brunette Emma's year as Miss Northern Ireland will be the honour of competing at the prestigious Miss World contest, which takes place later this year in beautiful Bali.

Emma, who is from Gilford, started her journey to the final by winning a heat in Co Fermanagh to become Miss Devenish. She attended Portadown College before starting her psychology degree at the Ulster University in 2013.

The first runner-up in the 30th year of the contest was Megan Geddis (Miss 21 Social) from Templepatrick.

The second runner-up was Chloe Moore (Miss Bull's Eye) from Ballymena.

Earlier the girls were inspired before the final got under way when stunning Miss World 2015 Mireia Lalaguna dropped into town.

Pacemaker press 16/05/2016 Miss Northern Ireland launch at The Europa hotel in Belfast. All 26 of the Miss NI hopeful's put the finishing touch on their appearance for tonight's Miss NI final at The Europa hotel. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 16/05/2016 Miss Northern Ireland launch at The Europa hotel in Belfast. All 26 of the Miss NI hopeful's put the finishing touch on their appearance for tonight's Miss NI final at The Europa hotel. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 16/05/2016 Miss Northern Ireland launch at The Europa hotel in Belfast. All 26 of the Miss NI hopeful's put the finishing touch on their appearance for tonight's Miss NI final at The Europa hotel. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 16/05/2016 Miss Northern Ireland launch at The Europa hotel in Belfast. All 26 of the Miss NI hopeful's put the finishing touch on their appearance for tonight's Miss NI final at The Europa hotel. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 16/05/2016 Miss Northern Ireland launch at The Europa hotel in Belfast. All 26 of the Miss NI hopeful's put the finishing touch on their appearance for tonight's Miss NI final at The Europa hotel. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 16/05/2016 Miss Northern Ireland launch at The Europa hotel in Belfast. All 26 of the Miss NI hopeful's put the finishing touch on their appearance for tonight's Miss NI final at The Europa hotel. Pictured are Miss Ballymena Gabrielle Morrison with Europa Hotel doorman Hugh Philips and Miss Cookstown Enya Sullivan. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 16/05/2016 Miss Northern Ireland launch at The Europa hotel in Belfast. All 26 of the Miss NI hopeful's put the finishing touch on their appearance for tonight's Miss NI final at The Europa hotel. Pictured are Miss Cookstown Enya Sullivan with Miss World Mireia Lalaguna Royo of Spain and Miss Ballymena Gabrielle Morrison. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 16/05/2016 Miss Northern Ireland launch at The Europa hotel in Belfast. All 26 of the Miss NI hopeful's put the finishing touch on their appearance for tonight's Miss NI final at The Europa hotel. Pictured are Miss Ballymena Gabrielle Morrison with Europa Hotel doorman Hugh Philips and Miss Cookstown Enya Sullivan. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Miss NI - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2016 Miss NI 2016 - Finals , Chloe Robinson, Danielle Callaghan , Courtney Cameron, Shauneen McNeill and Emma Nicholson Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Pacemaker press 16/05/2016 Miss Northern Ireland launch at The Europa hotel in Belfast. All 26 of the Miss NI hopeful's put the finishing touch on their appearance for tonight's Miss NI final at The Europa hotel. Pictured are Miss Cookstown Enya Sullivan with Miss World Mireia Lalaguna Royo of Spain and Miss Ballymena Gabrielle Morrison. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Miss NI - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2016 Miss NI 2016 - Finals , Chloe Robinson, Danielle Callaghan , Courtney Cameron, Shauneen McNeill and Emma Nicholson Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Miss NI - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2016 Miss NI 2016 - Finals Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Miss NI - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2016 Miss NI 2016 - Finals , Jasmine O'Kane , Sarah Jayne McGoldrick, Gabrielle Morrison, Leah Nelson, Megan Geddis Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Miss NI - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2016 Miss NI 2016 - Finals - Emma Carswell , Toni Gregg, Lauryn Greer, Ellen Donohue and Chloe Lemon Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Miss NI - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2016 Miss NI 2016 - Finals , Sarah Cunningham , Cathrine Todd, Lauren Brown, Hope Mairs, Enya Sullivan, Ruth Bleakley Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Miss NI - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2016 Miss NI 2016 - Finals , Sarah Cunningham , Cathrine Todd, Lauren Brown, Hope Mairs, Enya Sullivan, Ruth Bleakley Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Miss NI - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2016 Miss NI 2016 - Finals Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Miss NI - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2016 Miss NI 2016 - Finals , Chloe Moore, Caoimhe MeCabe, Sarah Wallace , Nicola Montgomery and Dione Hull Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Miss NI - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2016
Miss NI 2016 - Finals - Emma Carswell , Mireia Lalaguna Royo, Toni Gregg Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Miss NI - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2016
Miss NI - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2016 Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Miss NI - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2016 Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Miss NI - Northern Ireland - 16th May 2016 Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye

The Spanish beauty was the first Miss World from that country and will no doubt have inspired our girls to aspire to become the first woman from Northern Ireland to win the title.

Ms Lalaguna (23) was crowned Miss World in December in Sanya, China. By the end of her reign she will have travelled across six continents, spreading the message of 'Beauty with a Purpose' far and wide.

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