A West Limerick lady was announced the new Limerick Rose over the weekend, and will be the first Limerick-born Rose to make it to the dome in Tralee in almost 10 years. Marie Hennessy is crowned Limerick rose
25 year old Marie Hennessy of Rooskagh, near Carrigkerry, was presented with the glamorous sash following the event in Bunratty Castle Hotel on Saturday night, fighting off the challenge and competition of 22 other local Limerick girls in her race to become the next Rose of Tralee.
Marie holds an Arts degree in English and Irish from the University of Limerick and currently teaches both of these subjects at Desmond College, Newcastle West. She will go straight to the dome in Tralee this August, following the scrapping of the regional qualifiers in Portlaoise for this year’s event.
Ms Hennessy, who represented Muscular Dystrophy Ireland (MDI), said that she was not expecting to be selected.
“I am speechless today. It was fantastic and a fantastic day overall,” she said.
“I was so proud to push my own boundaries and get out of my own comfort zone and to represent Rooskagh. But the girls were so fabulous, they were so well-spoken, and they have all done so much, so the thought of me winning never actually crossed my mind.”
Marie decided against performing a party piece on the night and rather used her enthusiastic personality to charm the judges with her on-stage interview with MC on the night, Ollie Turner.
“The party piece was optional. It wasn’t something that we were being marked on. It was an entertainment factor for the audience. I didn’t perform anything. But we did do an interview about ourselves, where we come from, where we work at, and any interesting stories about ourselves.
“The starting point for me was Rooskagh and where it was,” she laughed, “and I talked about where I worked, and that I am very passionate about Irish language. I have spent every summer, for the past 10 years, in Coláiste Bhréanainn, in Ballybunion. That is a huge part of my life. I wouldn’t know my summers without it.”
Limerick Rose Centre co-ordinator, Denis Griffin said that the evening was a “huge success”.
Visit the Rose of Tralee official website here
To read more stories about the Rose of Tralee click here