Jaysis. That's a bit depressing.

No sooner had they hovered the Miss Ireland crown on the head of Marie Hughes, they then went "meeeeeehhh, actually... too old" and instead placed it on the bonce of 20-year-old runner up Rebecca Maguire. That's her on the left there.

Hughes was officially relieved of her title on Sunday after having an ole chinwag with organisers, who were under the impression she was 21...

The Independent reports: "At a meeting to discuss her role and responsibilities as Miss Ireland, organisers were informed that Miss Hughes will be 26 at the time of the Miss World Pageant in Inner Mongolia, China, in August - making her too old to compete. Miss Hughes, who was representing Mayo in the All-Ireland competition on Saturday, beat off stiff competition from 34 other beauty queens to take the title."

Sean Montague from Miss Ireland said: "We are very fond of Marie and wish her all the very best in the future - she is a beautiful girl both inside and out and we have no doubt that she will have a great career ahead." You know, doing whatever beauty queens allegedly pass their time doing. In this case, she could try launch herself as a Virginia Macari look-a-like. And you there on the right, you could be Lisa Cannon. You're welcome. 

Catwalk Modelling Agency, who represent Hughes, have since said they acted "in good faith" when submitting her entry to represent Ireland in China in four months time and were "very disappointed with the way that matters unfolded." Yeah, I mean it could've happened instead in Terminal 2 on the day of the flight if one of the organisers happened to clock her passport, or something.

Hughes has spoken out of her ordeal, and this is what she's said to the Irish Daily Mirror: "I made no attempt to conceal my true age. It was suggested to me that it might sound better to say I was younger than I was... I did notice that there was an age requirement and I made an enquiry with a Miss Ireland representative. In the course of a telephone conversation, I was advised by one of the representatives that this was not a significant issue and that she would deal with it and that I should represent my age to be younger than I was." OK, I don't know about you, but I'm getting some mixed messages here.

That aside, Hughes' statement continues: "On Sunday I had a meeting with Sean Montague and, in the course of that meeting, he asked me my true age and I made no attempt to conceal it (aaaaaah). It was clear to me that this came as a surprise to him and for the first time I was told this was a significant problem and I was too old. I have no difficulty relinquishing the title of Miss Ireland if that is what the organisers desire and I wish the runner up, Rebecca Maguire, every success in the Miss World competition."

If you happen to be considering entering yourself into Miss Ireland next year, 1) you must never have been married, and 2) You must not have any children, and - most importantly - 3) You're too old at 25...