Despite Tipperary not actually being represented at the final of this year’s Rose of Tralee, the county stll has a huge interest in the contest with three Roses having county links.
Two of the Roses, Sarah Harrington, South Australia, and Claire Regan, Nottingham, have family ties to Nenagh, while Western Canada Rose Catharine Joyce has distant relations from Ballingarry, Borrisokane.
Sarah Harrington, 27, daughter of former councillor Tom and his wife Anna, is representing South Australia in this year’s Rose.
Sarah, who works as a physiotherapist in Adeleide, was chosen as a Rose at the selection evening in the Australian city on May 24.
“We are fierce proud of her,” Tom told the Tipperary Star ahead of the start of the festival in the Kerry town. “The phone hasn’t stopped ringing and she has got so many good luck cards.”
The proud father described the house as “being like Heuston station” there are so many people calling to wish her and her family the best. “She is a very popular girl,” he said.
Nottingham’s Claire Regan, 27, is following in her mother’s footsteps as her mum, Anne, who was born in Tipp, was the Nottingham Rose in 1977. Claire has been Irish dancing since the age of four, and competed all over the world, becoming British national champion and Great Britain champion twice. Her biggest achievement was fourth place in the world championships in 2003. She also danced with Michael Flatley in Lord of the Dance.
Catharine Joyce, 26, was born and raised in Fort McMurray and has lived in Edinburgh, Galway and Carlow. She has a passion for sports and played volleyball and soccer for my local community college. In 2011, she helped formed the Fort McMurray Shamrocks GAA and the first ever ladies football team in Fort McMurray. The ladies are two time Alberta champions. She is treasurer for the Western Canadian County Board and VP for my local GAA club.