The 19-year-old from Raheny in Dublin beat 33 other competitors to lift the title at a black-tie ceremony in the D4 Ballsbridge Inn.
The second-year student at the National College of Art and Design, who is the granddaughter of Charles Haughey’s former mistress Terry Keane, had been widely tipped to take the title in advance of Saturday’s event. At one point, Paddy Power Bookmakers had her as their 7/4 favourite.
Her biography for the event said “fun-loving Holly likes art and crafts, taking pictures and fancy dress and was once mistaken for Kin Kardashian in New York”.
“I love Ireland and would be proud to represent my country,” she said. “Let’s face it, I wouldn’t be able to do it for sport or the Eurovision but this is something I can do. I’m down to earth, up for the craic and have green eyes — Irish or what?”
At Saturday’s event she was crowned Miss Ireland 2011 by TV3’s Ireland AM presenter Sinéad Desmond and Q102’s Ray Shah.
The competition judges included former supermodel Sophie Anderton, Former Miss Ireland Sarah Morrissey and celebrity trainer Paul Byrne.
Holly will now go on to represent Ireland at the Miss World final in London on November 8. The global competition is now in its 60th year.
She will also receive a lucrative modelling contract and a host of prizes including jewellery, gowns, a professional photo shoot and beauty and hair products, as well as the use of a new car for the year.
Former Miss Irelands such as Amanda Brunker, Michelle Rocca, Siobhán Mc Clafferty, Olivia Tracey and Andrea Roche made it to the top finalists in Miss World during their respective reigns.
In the 2003 Miss World competition, Rosanna Davison was crowned the overall winner.