Limerick Rose Molli-Ann O’Halloran and her family and friends pictured above during the Roses tour of Limerick. Picture: Olena Oleksienko/ilovelimerick
Limerick Rose, Molli-Ann O’Halloran was welcomed to her hometown this week as the Roses Tour rolled up to Limerick City making stops at the George and Savoy Hotels
A crowd of supporters gathered outside the hotel waving Limerick flags and shouting words of support for both the Limerick Rose and this year’s New York Rose, Róisín Wiley who has a family connection with Kilmallock.
Molli-Ann stepped off the Roses’ bus and was greeted by the embrace of her family and friends in a sea of green and white.
Molli-Ann, an Ennis Road native, has Aspergers and ASD and is a huge advocate for people with autism and hopes to spread awareness and show that anything is possible, using her platform to bring International awareness to the disorders while on stage at the Rose Dome.
Speaking in this year’s Rose of Tralee programme, Molli-Ann said, “I’m a young woman living with autism. I’m a passionate advocate for individuals with autism also. I love to speak and raise awareness to create positive change.”
Speaking at the Rose Tour, Molli-Ann’s mother and sister, Michelle and Katie, told I Love Limerick and the event that they were “very proud” to see Molli-Ann represent the county at this year’s Rose of Tralee festival.
Michelle said, “Molly wanted to bring awareness about her ASD. Molly has ASD which is Autism, and for many years she didn’t say it out loud, and now Tralee has given her that platform to do that, and she is very proud of where she is right now, as are we, so is the whole ASD community. Hopefully, so is Limerick, she will do all of us proud, just as much as she is doing herself proud.”
Katie added, “Molly also wants to raise awareness, it’s important for her to represent herself, as having ASD also shows little girls and boys it’s okay and not to be afraid to say that you have ASD and that you have autism, because it’s something that you should be proud of.
“And what Molli stands by is this quote, ‘Just keep swimming’ because you just have to keep going and spread positivity basically.”
Molli-Ann, a 19-year-old Irish traditional singer was chosen to represent Limerick at this year’s festival at a sold-out event in Woodlands Hotel & Spa, Adare on April 23.
The Limerick Rose who represented ASD Ireland, an organisation close to her heart, is a student at the University of Limerick where she is studying voice in the Irish World Academy. Molli-Ann stole the judges’ and audience’s hearts at the event by signing “Part Of Your World”.
Also at this year’s event is Róisín Wiley, the New York Rose, who has a Limerick connection, Róisín’s family from Kilmallock were at the event to show the Rose support.
Róisín told I Love Limerick, “We are so excited, my family is here, and it’s just been the most amazing few days so far, we’re off to Tralee tomorrow so a second wave of energy to come. My mom and dad are both from Limerick, my mom is from Templglantine and my dad is from Kilmallock. so good Limerick roots and just so excited to keep going on this journey, so thank you so much.”
Róisín Wiley, VP & National Sales Representative of a consumer marketing company was chosen to represent New York at a New York Rose Selection brunch at the Kerry Hall in Yonkers on Sunday, June 25.
Pictures: Olena Oleksienko/ilovelimerick