Miss Limerick Emily Maunsell – Emily Maunsell was crowned Miss Limerick 2022 in recent weeks.
Miss Limerick Emily Maunsell chats with I Love Limerick about the Miss Ireland competition, her education as well as career and life ambitions
Miss Limerick 2022, Emily Maunsell, is a 21-year-old International Business Student at the University of Limerick. She has lived in Limerick for the last few years but is originally from Clonmel, Tipperary. Emily is passionate about travelling, health and fitness, journaling, and meditating, which she maintains have all contributed to her positive outlook on life.
What was your childhood like and where did you grow up?
I grew up in the lovely town of Clonmel, Tipperary. My family lives there but I relocated to the Castletroy area around three years ago to begin my life at the University of Limerick.
My childhood was quite pleasant, I always enjoyed school and I had a great circle of friends around me. I was always involved in the local majorettes where I danced from around Junior Infants up to Fifth Year. When I was 14, I became heavily involved in the Clonmel Rowing Club which ignited my passion for sports, nutrition and overall wellbeing. Being involved in such a disciplined sport from a young age taught me a lot about perseverance, teamwork, and determination. These are traits I will carry with me forever.
However, my childhood was not always straightforward, like many, we were not without our hardships. When I was 11 my father passed away after a heroic battle with cancer. This taught me a lot about myself and how to be grateful for my health and life in general. As well as that, I grew up alongside family members battling addictions.
Overall, I had a very pleasant childhood. My family and friends are amazing, especially my mother Siobhan, she is a superhero, and I will never be able to thank her enough for everything she has done for my sisters and I. I managed to fly through school, achieve in sports, secure my university course and always remain positive no matter what adversity I had faced.
Why did you want to take part in the Miss Ireland contest?
Miss Ireland was something that I had been following ever since Aoife Walsh from Clonmel won the title back in 2013. I have followed the competition every year since then and have seen the amazing opportunities that come with entering Miss Ireland, so it was something I had my sights set on for a long time.
What made me apply this year was something quite different. Over the past year, I was really pushed out of my comfort zone as I moved abroad on my own for the first time as part of my International Business degree. I was constantly faced with challenges, such as meeting new people, gaining new friends, communicating in both Spanish and French and being away from family. One day I was scrolling through Instagram and I noticed this years Miss Ireland was taking applications so I thought why not, no better time when I have grown so much already this year.
I had a lot of different life experiences that I thought I could use to become a role model for people who have faced adversity growing up. I felt I was in the correct mindset and I was ready for a new challenge.
Tell us about being an International Business student at the University of Limerick?
I remember applying to the CAO back in Sixth Year feeling so lost about what it was I wanted to do. I know I am a quite indecisive person sometimes; however, I always knew the University of Limerick was for me. I needed a course that offered me great career opportunities, flexibility, something that would challenge me to a certain degree and allow me to travel abroad. This was the course for me!
International Business allowed me to choose which modules I wanted to take each semester, granting me the flexibility I desired. I have tailored the last few years to taking modules I was really interested in. As well as that, I have just returned form the most
amazing year abroad. I spent 5 months in Murcia, Spain and then began my international work experience in Luxembourg until returning earlier this month.
Life at UL is so student-centred and it is an amazing campus with some of the best facilities in Ireland. There really is a great focus on student welfare and the academic staff are so supportive. I could not recommend UL more.
What social issues are you most passionate about?
Nowadays, there are a huge number of societal issues in Ireland. The pendulum will never stop swinging as society continues to develop. However, one issue I am quite passionate about is the addiction culture in Ireland. I think there is a worrying trend emerging, especially amongst young people who are actively engaging in a lot of substance abuse and antisocial behaviour. To combat this, I believe more education should be given to young people around the negative effects of substance use during early developmental years.
This is often coupled with the mental health epidemic in Ireland. The two go hand in hand, but also exist on their own. The mental health situation in Ireland is quite severe and I do think it is something that we can all advocate for, and also offer advice to friends and family who need it. There are a multitude of supports available for both addiction and mental health in Ireland, but a lot of people are unaware of this or feel services are inaccessible.
Have you faced any struggles getting to where you are now?
I suppose I have faced a few struggles, yes. Entering a competition like Miss Ireland can be quite nerve wrecking, I often found myself feeling a bit of anxiety around some of the events we took part in. However, this is a completely natural feeling and I know a lot of the other contestants experience similar feelings and emotions.
It is a difficult thing to put yourself out there, but I do not regret any moment of it. It has granted me a level of confidence and independence I did not believe I could have. It has been a phenomenal character-building experience and I would encourage any one to go for it in the future! It has been life changing and I am so grateful for every moment of it.
I also struggled a bit with the social media aspect of the competition. I am not the most comfortable being so active on social media, but it has made me get over this fear. So much so that it has inspired me to investigate social media careers for the future.
What is your proudest achievement so far?
One of my proudest achievements so far is being the first of my family to attend university and as I am about to embark on final year, I will be the first to graduate also. It is scary being the first – I often feel a bit of imposter syndrome – however, no matter the circumstances, if getting a degree is your goal there is nothing stopping you! There are a multitude of supports available for people who may not think a college experience is within their reach.
Entering Miss Ireland and being crowned Miss Limerick is up there with one of my proudest achievements too. The whole experience taught me so much; public speaking, modelling, advocating and fundraising, and it was so amazing to realise how capable I really am.
Do you have any advice for your younger self, or young people who may want to be like you?
I have a couple of pieces of advice, especially when I think of what I would love to say to my younger self.
Firstly, you are worthy of the life you dream for yourself. Never stop working towards something you want to achieve in life, no matter what your circumstances are, or the challenges you face. There is always a way.
Secondly, confidence is learned, it is something that you can gain. Focusing on pursuing new things outside your comfort zone is really the best way to gain more confidence.
Finally, it is so important to surround yourself with friends that inspire you, push you to be the best version of yourself and people you can trust and lean on in times of trouble. You carry a lot of the characteristics of the people you spend the most time with, so make sure you align yourself with good people who support you.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you’re working on?
At the moment, I have no projects. As I am returning to UL next week, I am really focusing on this. This year I will be vice president of our International Society at UL so I have some exciting items to organise for this too. As for Miss Ireland, we have a couple of upcoming events in the next few months to look forward to.
I am hoping once I get settled into my lecture schedule in the next few weeks that I can begin some projects using my Miss Limerick title. I would love to really use this around Limerick for the next year.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I suppose this is a difficult question to answer. Even this time last year I never thought I would be returning to UL as Miss Limerick for my final year. So much can change in a short space of time. However, I do hope to have entered a graduate programme in one of the big four, to have my professional accountancy exams completed and hopefully be in a career I am passionate about.
After my year abroad I have really developed a flare for travelling. I am hoping to have travelled to a lot more countries and possibly be living abroad in Australia or Canada. As well as that, I am hoping to become more involved in advocating for underserved parts of society, get more involved in volunteering and hopefully build up my social media presence.
Lastly, what do you love most about Limerick?
Limerick is a beautiful city, but I would have to say my favourite element of Limerick is the people that live here. I have met some amazing people over the last few years that have really inspired me and become some of my closest friends. There is such a strong sense of community here, and the support I received the last few months during the Miss Ireland competition has been unimaginable. The people of Limerick are what make this city so special.
For more 10 Questions segments, go HERE
For more about the Miss Ireland competition, go HERE
Emily Maunsell 10 Questions Emily Maunsell 10 Questions Emily Maunsell 10 Questions