Discovery of 10 year old Alternative Miss Ireland ticket in London stairwell sparks search for owner

The curious find has created a frenzy on social media as users reflect on the legendary pageant show and how the ticket might have gotten there.

alternative miss ireland 2011
Image: | Twitter/James Hilton

A ticket for the Alternative Miss Ireland 2011 contest has been found in the stairwell of a hospital in London. Its curious finder, Twitter user James Hilton (@jimothysocks), has shared an image of the ticket in hopes of shedding more light on the situation.

The post has attracted a lot of buzz on social media with users speculating who the original owner of the ticket might be and how it ended up in a London hospital.

The Alternative Miss Ireland (AMI) contest was an outrageous annual event that took place in Dublin on the Sunday closest to St. Patrick’s Day. It ran as a super-queer, mock beauty pageant with the first event held in 1987 and, after a hiatus, picked up again in the mid-’90s where it would then run for the guts of two decades.

Check out the promotional video for Alternative Miss Ireland 2011 below featuring Panti Bliss in an eerily empty and lockdown-like Dublin City!

According to the info printed on the ticket, it was purchased a few days before the event by a Ms Conceição. We reached out to James and here’s what he had to say:

“I was on the way out of work at St Mary’s hospital when I saw the ticket on the handrail of the staircase. I guess someone else might have found it and left it there in case the owner returned. I asked some colleagues but no one knew anything about it. It caught my attention because of how old the ticket was and it is in mint condition! It was bizarre that it had ended up there so I thought I would post a picture of it.

“It was still there the next day so I took it for safe-keeping in case the rightful owner comes forward! I’m not Irish and have never been to Dublin or heard of the AMI before. Will it ever make a comeback? I was a little surprised in the interest but everyone likes a mystery.”

The majority of users have guessed that the ticket is a lost bookmark while Shirley Temple Bar has commented that it could possibly be a horcrux belonging to Panti.


Miss Mangina Jones took the title of winner of Alternative Miss Ireland 2011 with this year being among the last of the AMI events to take place. The pageant came to an end in 2012.

There’s no doubt that the story has triggered a warm wave of nostalgia across social media with some users reflecting on a time long before lockdowns and social distancing. Optimistic and hungry for a future of more outrageous queer events like Alternative Miss Ireland (perhaps a revival of the original show!?).

As of now though, we can remain hopeful while the case of the missing ticket remains a mystery…

You can read more on the Alternative Miss Ireland pageant in this article, By George, Time Flies! : An Oral History Of The George featuring some of the folk involved in its origins and previous winners.

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