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Role model mum Former Miss Ireland's daughter scoops prestigious Miss Florida pageant crown

"I had no experience modelling or in pageants whatsoever, but I was absolutely thrilled for the opportunity"

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Lauren with her Miss Florida crown

Lauren with her Miss Florida crown

Lauren with her Miss Florida crown

Back in 1990 stunning Siobhan McClafferty won Miss Ireland and went on to be runner-up in Miss World.

Fast forward 30 years and her gorgeous daughter Lauren has followed in her mother's footsteps by going on last weekend to win the prestigious Miss Florida Global beauty pageant.

Dubliner Lauren (20) moved to Illinois five years ago and later to Florida, where she is currently studying to be an art professor at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Earlier this month she was persuaded by model agency Suzi Hosfeld, who recognised her talent, to go for a casting and enter Miss Florida Global.

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Former model Siobhan and daughter Lauren

Former model Siobhan and daughter Lauren

Former model Siobhan and daughter Lauren

"The pageant happened to be less than a week away," explains Lauren. "I had no experience modelling or in pageants whatsoever, but I was absolutely thrilled for the opportunity."

Lauren's late grandmother Madeline was a woman she looked up to and sadly Lauren could not attend her funeral in March due to travel restrictions because of the pandemic.

"My nana is a major inspiration of mine, and I miss her dearly," reflects Lauren. "I feel so honoured to be following in my mum's footsteps. My mum and my nana are the strongest women I know, and they inspire me everyday.

"My mum has always supported me through everything I do, through being there at 6am horse riding competitions, and pursuing a career in art and everything else, Mum has always been there."

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Beauty pageant winner Lauren

Beauty pageant winner Lauren

Beauty pageant winner Lauren

There were strict health and safety procedures at the pageant last weekend.

"Social distancing was a major priority at the event," she stresses.

"Everyone was required to wear masks and frequent sanitising was required. The capacity was very limited at the event, in order to maintain social distancing."

But Lauren gave it her best shot.

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"When I was about to walk on stage, I was so nervous, as I hadn't any experience in pageants," she admits.

"My mum told me to think of my nana, which gave me so much strength, it was so reassuring to have my mum with me, and my nana in spirit. My mum and my nana inspire me everyday and I wouldn't be the woman I am today without them."

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Miss Ireland 1990 Siobhan McClafferty when she stepped out at the launch of Miss Ireland 2010.

Miss Ireland 1990 Siobhan McClafferty when she stepped out at the launch of Miss Ireland 2010.

Miss Ireland 1990 Siobhan McClafferty when she stepped out at the launch of Miss Ireland 2010.

Lauren was "thrilled" to win the pageant and hopes this will be a springboard to enter other competitions, and possibly represent Ireland in Miss World like her mother did 30 years ago.

"I have no previous experience modelling, but am looking forward to gaining more experience with Miss Florida Global and future engagements," she notes. "The Miss Florida Global title qualifies me to go forward into Miss USA Global in July."

The Miss Global competition was first devised in 2011 and attracts finalists from 60 countries, with the final due to be held in the Philippines.

Lauren is continuing with her studies and obviously has brains as well as beauty.

"I am currently studying Studio Art, which has always been a passion of mine," she says.

"Living near Chicago definitely inspired me to want to pursue a career as a professor. I was very fortunate to receive a scholarship from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, this fuelled my motivation even further. I plan to attend there for my Master's Degree.

"I would love to pursue a career as an art professor. I have always been passionate about art, and have been very fortunate to be taught by amazing teachers who have inspired me."

Lauren says she loves living in the US.

"I absolutely love America; however, this year has been very challenging for us as a family, as we couldn't get home. My mum and I usually visit Ireland every year, as we are very close to our family.

Siobhan was an air hostess from Portmarnock, Co. Dublin, when she won Miss Ireland in 1990. She took the first runner-up spot at the Miss World final in London, just one point behind the eventual winner, Miss USA.

Siobhan and her husband, businessman Julian O'Sullivan, moved to the US five years ago along with Lauren, their only child. The former Miss Ireland now works as a medical aesthetician.

"I was a nervous wreck watching Lauren competing," she says. "She had never modelled before and I was so proud. It is so special for her to win a crown 30 years after I won Miss Ireland.

"I remember how upset I was at not seeing my mum in the audience of the Miss World or Miss Universe finals back in the day," she confesses.

"When I asked her why, she said it was actually out of love that she couldn't watch me.

"It's only now I understand how she felt. I felt the exact same about my daughter when she was on stage - it's a mum's thing."

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