First Dates star who won Miss Bikini Ireland dies aged 32
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Featured Image Credit: RTE/Instagram/@judyfitzgerald_
First Dates star Judy Fitzgerald – who also won Miss Bikini Ireland – has sadly passed away at the age of 32.
Fitzgerald, from County Limerick, was crowned Miss Bikini Ireland in 2014, and went on to represent her native Ireland at beauty and fitness competitions around the globe.
In March last year, Fitzgerald appeared in an episode of First Dates Ireland as she looked for love.
An obituary said she had passed away ‘unexpectedly’ on 27 May.
“Sadly missed by her heartbroken parents Liam and Imelda, sister Lucy, brother William, brother-in-law Pedro, extended members of the Fitzgerald and Martin families and a large circle of friends," it said.
“May she rest in peace.”
The notice, published yesterday, added that she is due to be laid to rest at a private funeral on Wednesday 31 May at Cross’s Funeral Home, Lr Gerald Griffin Street, Limerick City, from 5.30pm-7.30pm. The private funeral will be followed by requiem mass at St Nessan’s Church, Raheen, at 12pm, Thursday, with burial afterwards in Castlemungret Cemetery.
Tributes have been pouring in for Fitzgerald in the wake of the tragic news, with Venera Tabakin, red carpet dress designer at the Cannes Film Festival, writing: “RIP Judy Fitzgerald, my little model and friend, Miss Bikini Ireland and Celebrity of Ireland.”
Fellow pageant contestant, Mary Mullally, also paid tribute to the ‘beautiful kind person’ on Facebook, saying: “The girl that would light up a room with her smile Judy Fitzgerald our Miss Bikini Ireland 2014 has sadly gained her wings.”
Mullally said she was in ‘[total] shock’ when she got the news, adding: “We will always have our journey we took together with Bikini Ireland in 2017 and our chats... I will cherish all the memories.
“She will be truly missed in the modelling and beauty industry and community.
“My prayers and thoughts go out to her family, friends and everyone that knew her.”
Photographer and JmcCreatives founder, Jedd Cabreza – who had previously worked with Fitzgerald - added: “I am deeply heartbroken and devastated to hear the passing of our dearly beloved Judy Fitzgerald.
“My thoughts and prayers to her family and friends during times of great sorrow and grief.
“To me, she was the most beloved model of JmcCreatives and our dearly loved former Miss Bikini Ireland contestant.
“Now, I am in my full state of grief to see my bestie in her passing. Rest well my beloved bestie. We are going to miss you so much… and so will I.”