Maura Higgins has admitted she is a “different woman” to when she first made her sensational entrance into the Love Island villa.
There was plenty for Irish viewers to tune in for during last night’s final, with both Maura and Limerick rugby player Greg O’Shea flying the flag for Ireland in a bid to scoop the £50,000 (€54,841) grand prize.
Dancing with the Stars’ professional dancer Curtis Pritchard – who was coupled up with Maura – was also a familiar face for audiences from his stint on the RTE show.
Last night’s episode brought the eight-week summer of fun to an end for the remaining contestants, with an eventual winner crowned – but not before the loved-up islanders took a moment to make their feelings known to their other halves.
As the girls got their glam on shopping for an extra special outfit for the final night, the boys busied themselves penning their “declarations of love” for their partners.
Glad rags found, the girls also got in touch with their emotional side as they wrote down their own feelings about their men.
First to read out their declarations were Ballymahon’s Maura (28) and Curtis (23).
Curtis compared their relationship to a fairy tale and deemed firecracker Maura the “most beautiful” of all.
“Once upon a time, there was a man on a journey. He had one goal in mind on his journey of crazy events. That goal was to find a princess,” he said.
“This princess wasn’t just any princess, she was the most beautiful in all the lands.”
It was then Maura’s turn – and, known for her fiery side and no-nonsense attitude, she expressed a much softer side than viewers might have grown accustomed to.
The model revealed she was “very different” since she joined the cast and admitted it had been hard to watch Curtis pursue a relationship with former contestant and air hostess Amy Hart.
“Curtis here before you I stand a very different woman to the one who walked into the villa seven weeks ago,” she said.
“I had to spend my first few weeks watching somebody else fall in love with you, when all I really wanted was it to be me you were dancing with…”
READ MORE: Katie Byrne: ‘Love Island isn’t about love and lust – it’s about social acceptance and rejection’
Ireland Sevens star Greg O’Shea (24) got in touch with his more artistic side in expressing his feelings for Newcastle girl Amber Gill (21), writing a poem for her.
“I’m going to keep this short and sweet just like when we first came to meet. Up in the Hideaway sheltered from trouble we instantly connected and formed our own little bubble,” he said.
Meanwhile, in Maura’s hometown excitement was building ahead of the final as her local pub Skelly’s in Ballymahon organised a viewing party for the occasion.
There were Love Island-themed cocktails and finger food as locals called in to cheer on their local hero.
READ MORE: ‘I would love to see her on ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here’ – Maura’s sister on life after Love Island
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