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Just four Irish apply for 'Girls of Ryanair' calendar

Just four of the 700 applicants for the 'Girls of Ryanair' calendar were Irish -- despite the proceeds going to an Irish charity.

The 2009 edition, launched in Dublin on Monday, is once again filled with bikini-clad Ryanair cabin crew from all over Europe.

But no Irish women featured in the latest calendar after just four applied. One was chosen but pulled out due to other commitments at the time of the photo shoot.

"We are hoping she will apply again for the 2010 calendar," a Ryanair spokesman said.

The calendars are priced at €10 each and the airline is hoping to raise €100,000 for the Simon Community which cares for the homeless.

Suggestions of prejudice against Irish girls were flatly denied by Ryanair yesterday.

CEO Michael O'Leary has no input into who is chosen for the calender, with the final decision left to the photographer and members of the production team.

But top model Rosanna Davidson believes more of an effort should have been made to involve Irish women in the fundraising project, saying: "If I was organising it, I would have made sure that Irish women were involved because it's an Irish charity and Irish fundraising.

"Any person from any part of Europe would say that Irish women are gorgeous."

The Simon Community's Sam McGuinness said the number of people requiring assistance from their Rough Sleeper Team had risen by 50pc during the first half of the year.

There are currently over 2,000 homeless on the streets of the capital, with over 110 sleeping rough each night.

Mr McGuinness defended the airline's decision to feature bikini-clad women.

"Ryanair have shown a genuine interest in helping and we have taken it at that level," he said.

Last year's calendar sparked a backlash from women's rights groups, including Spanish organisation FACUA, which accused Ryanair of presenting female flight attendants as "sexual objects".

And in a tongue-in-cheek move that is now typical of the Ryanair PR machine, a free copy of the new calendar is to be sent to the agency.

"Ryanair expects that these typical humourless groups will again oppose Ryanair's 2009 cabin crew calendar, but at least they will have the benefit of 13 stunning Ryanair babes throughout the year," a statement read.

Belfast Telegraph

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