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Old School Pictures - Tiffany Brien, former Miss Northern Ireland

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Young tomboy: Tiffany Brien as a Rockport pupil

Young tomboy: Tiffany Brien as a Rockport pupil

Miss Northern Ireland 2012: Tiffany Brien

Miss Northern Ireland 2012: Tiffany Brien

Miss Northern Ireland 2012 Tiffany Brien pictured at Helens Bay. Photography Mark McCormick 29/05/12

Miss Northern Ireland 2012 Tiffany Brien pictured at Helens Bay. Photography Mark McCormick 29/05/12

Tiffany Brien as she is now

Tiffany Brien as she is now

Tiffany Brien, former miss Northern Ireland,  in the 10k race

Tiffany Brien, former miss Northern Ireland, in the 10k race

Tiffany Brien

Tiffany Brien

Sunny days: Tiffany relaxing on the beach in Dubai

Sunny days: Tiffany relaxing on the beach in Dubai

Tiffany Brien as Miss Northern Ireland

Tiffany Brien as Miss Northern Ireland

Nadine Coyle

Nadine Coyle

A bit grainy but there's no mistaking Nadine Coyle's smile at Thornhill College in 1996

A bit grainy but there's no mistaking Nadine Coyle's smile at Thornhill College in 1996

Nadine Coyle/Girls Aloud.

Nadine Coyle/Girls Aloud.

Old School Pictures - from Daniel ODonnell (above) to Nadine Coyle

Old School Pictures - from Daniel ODonnell (above) to Nadine Coyle

Old School pictures: Daniel O'Donnell - what's that on top of the gate post?

Old School pictures: Daniel O'Donnell - what's that on top of the gate post?

Daniel O'Donnell in 1985

Daniel O'Donnell in 1985

Daniel O'Donnell has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing

Daniel O'Donnell has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing

Saddle up - a  young gunslinger Gerry Adams

Saddle up - a young gunslinger Gerry Adams

Gerry Adams says it is important that the historic handshake between the Queen and Martin McGuinness is seen as more than just a gesture

Gerry Adams says it is important that the historic handshake between the Queen and Martin McGuinness is seen as more than just a gesture

PA Wire/Press Association Images

School prefect: Noel Thompson

School prefect: Noel Thompson

Noel Thompson today

Noel Thompson today

PACEMAKER BELFAST 15/04/98 IAN PAISLEY AS A 12 YEAR OLD BOY

PACEMAKER BELFAST 15/04/98 IAN PAISLEY AS A 12 YEAR OLD BOY

PACEMAKER BELFAST 15/04/98 Rev Ian Paisley pictured on his weding day to wife Eileen      Date unknown

PACEMAKER BELFAST 15/04/98 Rev Ian Paisley pictured on his weding day to wife Eileen Date unknown

27/1/12 PACEMAKER BELFAST.  The Rev. Ian Paisley poses with fellow clergy before  the Special Farewell Service in his honour after 65 years of Ministry at the Martyrs Memorial Church, on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. Picture CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER

27/1/12 PACEMAKER BELFAST. The Rev. Ian Paisley poses with fellow clergy before the Special Farewell Service in his honour after 65 years of Ministry at the Martyrs Memorial Church, on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. Picture CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER

Kate Middleton is pictured aged five.

Kate Middleton is pictured aged five.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are now the owners of a cocker spaniel puppy

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are now the owners of a cocker spaniel puppy

Kate Middleton, before scaling  to the heights of Baroness Carrickfergus and Duchess of Cambridge, pictured aged three on a family holiday in the Lake District.

Kate Middleton, before scaling to the heights of Baroness Carrickfergus and Duchess of Cambridge, pictured aged three on a family holiday in the Lake District.

Zoe Salmon

Zoe Salmon

Lara and Zoe Salmon

Lara and Zoe Salmon

Zoe Salmon

Zoe Salmon

Lara and Zoe Salmon

Lara and Zoe Salmon

Eamonn Holmes:Tv Presenter/celebrating his fourth birthday at the family home on New Lodge Road

Eamonn Holmes:Tv Presenter/celebrating his fourth birthday at the family home on New Lodge Road

Eamonn Holmes:Tv Presenter/celebrating his fourth birthday at the family home on New Lodge Road

Eamonn Holmes:Tv Presenter/celebrating his fourth birthday at the family home on New Lodge Road

On ITV's Telethon in 1988. Eamonn stepped in at the last minute when original anchor Gerry Kelly, fell ill.

On ITV's Telethon in 1988. Eamonn stepped in at the last minute when original anchor Gerry Kelly, fell ill.

Eamonn Holmes has apologised for This Morning's gaffe

Eamonn Holmes has apologised for This Morning's gaffe

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Liam Neeson ... can you spot the Ulster schoolboy who was destined for great things? Next picture solves the mystery.

Liam Neeson ... can you spot the Ulster schoolboy who was destined for great things? Next picture solves the mystery.

Liam Neeson, pictured during his Ulster schooldays... centre of back row.

Liam Neeson, pictured during his Ulster schooldays... centre of back row.

Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson

PA

Jimmy Nesbitt and family during the Seventies

Jimmy Nesbitt and family during the Seventies

Jimmy Nesbitt - the cheeky grin being perfected at a young age

Jimmy Nesbitt - the cheeky grin being perfected at a young age

Jimmy Nesbitt

Jimmy Nesbitt

BBC presenter Stephen Nolan.  Pic by Ian Magill.  1/10/09.David O'Dornan interview.

BBC presenter Stephen Nolan. Pic by Ian Magill. 1/10/09.David O'Dornan interview.

Ian Magill

Down the years....Stephen Nolan - Belfast Telegraph's Old School pictures

Down the years....Stephen Nolan - Belfast Telegraph's Old School pictures

A young Stephen Nolan.

A young Stephen Nolan.

A young Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins

A young Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins

73. Someone once threw a petrol bomb at Alex Higgins and he drank it!

73. Someone once threw a petrol bomb at Alex Higgins and he drank it!

Paul Cousans

Young Alex Higgins front left.jpg

Young Alex Higgins front left.jpg

Taking off: Paddy Ashdown doing the high jump at Garth House School, Bangor in 1950

Taking off: Paddy Ashdown doing the high jump at Garth House School, Bangor in 1950

An Audience with Paddy Ashdown

An Audience with Paddy Ashdown

George Best  pictured with other prefects at Lisnasharragh High School, Belfast, 1961. George is pictured second left, centre row.

George Best pictured with other prefects at Lisnasharragh High School, Belfast, 1961. George is pictured second left, centre row.

George Best, centre,  at Lisnasharragh High School in 1961.

George Best, centre, at Lisnasharragh High School in 1961.

http://photosales.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/media/ljVDYEisysnph1buZfa8NA..a

http://photosales.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/media/ljVDYEisysnph1buZfa8NA..a

George Best

George Best

Photopress Staff

Darren Clarke back in 1985 as part of the Fred Daley Team

Darren Clarke back in 1985 as part of the Fred Daley Team

Darren Clarke back in 1985 as part of the Fred Daley Team

Darren Clarke back in 1985 as part of the Fred Daley Team

British Open Champion Darren Clarke at his local bar the Bayview Hotel with the Claret Jug

British Open Champion Darren Clarke at his local bar the Bayview Hotel with the Claret Jug

Darren Clarke  1985 in his Junior Ireland Blazer

Darren Clarke 1985 in his Junior Ireland Blazer

SANDWICH, ENGLAND - JULY 17:  Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland holds the Claret Jug following his victory at the end of the final round of The 140th Open Championship at Royal St George's on July 17, 2011 in Sandwich, England.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

SANDWICH, ENGLAND - JULY 17: Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland holds the Claret Jug following his victory at the end of the final round of The 140th Open Championship at Royal St George's on July 17, 2011 in Sandwich, England. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Ross Kinnaird

Seamus Heaney as a past pupil at Annahorish Primary School in Toome.

Seamus Heaney as a past pupil at Annahorish Primary School in Toome.

Seamus Heaney...Irish poet Seamus Heaney, 1995. (Photo by Steve Pyke/Getty Images)...Ent

Seamus Heaney...Irish poet Seamus Heaney, 1995. (Photo by Steve Pyke/Getty Images)...Ent

Van Morrison

Van Morrison

Van Morrison

Van Morrison

Van Morrison

Van Morrison

Belfast Telegraph

Young tomboy: Tiffany Brien as a Rockport pupil

Former Miss Northern Ireland Tiffany Brien joins Daniel O'Donnell, Ian Paisley, Seamus Heaney, Girls Aloud's Nadine Coyle, Liam Neeson, Jimmy Nesbitt and George Best in our gallery of school images

Recalling her schooldays, estate agent and champion sailor Tiffany Brien (25) said: "At school I was totally different  — I was the biggest tomboy ever. I wore trainers and combat trousers the whole time. I’ve sailed all my life but I started sailing competitively when I was 14. Before that took up all of my time, I was doing every sport and joining every team I could be on — everything from cross-country to hockey to table tennis. I went to Rockport prep school, where I stayed until 5.30pm each day. After classes finished I played sport and that suited me down to the ground.

"I always wanted to be a sailor from a very young age and I never made any other plans. I knew even then that I wasn’t going to university. In fact, I never went to a single careers class because sailing was all I was ever going to do.

I never got bullied when I was younger but then again I was quite tough so I don’t think anyone would have had the nerve. Being sporty also brought a lot of friends with it because you were always on a team and you had to get on together.

"I was very into girl-bands at school — I loved the Spice Girls, All Saints and B*Witched. I didn’t really like boybands. And I certainly wasn’t very conscious about my appearance. I don’t think I wore make-up until I was in fifth form and I didn’t dye my hair or get my nails done until I’d won Miss Northern Ireland.

"After Rockport, I went on to Sullivan and then moved to Methodist College. I don’t think I would have changed any of it. I was always quite involved at school and being in teams or groups brings you more friends. I also think playing sport gave me confidence — physical confidence at the very least.

"I got straight As in my GSCEs but didn’t do so well in my A-levels — probably because I was away for most of the year before them. As I said, I didn’t want to go to uni anyway, so I wasn’t overly concerned with my results.

University wouldn’t have been for me — I wouldn’t have been able to do the whole student thing because I would have been "away sailing so much.

"I did take a break from sailing at 22 to do Miss Northern Ireland and after that I became an estate agent.

"Now I have the best of both worlds as I’m working my way up the career ladder and still sailing — I have both the British and Irish Championships next month.”

Belfast Telegraph