Newly crowned Tipperary Rose Laura Durkan has described her win as a “dream come true” after scooping the title in front of a packed audience at the Anner Hotel on Saturday night.
The 26 year old pharmacist and adventure sports enthusiast from Glenconnor, Clonmel says she is still “in shock” since donning the Tipperary Rose sash at the weekend, taking over the mantle from 2017 Rose ambassador Sheila Ryan.
“I still can’t believe it. The whole day flew by and you really are on an adrenaline high doing the interviews and meeting the other roses. I’m absolutely honoured to represent the county at this year’s festival - it’s just been a dream come true,” the Glenconnor native tells the Tipperary Star, adding that she’s determined to make it to the stage with Daithi at this year’s Tralee festival.
Laura, who has a Bachelor's degree from UCC and a Masters degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in pharmacy, was selected from a panel of 18 elegant ladies to go forward to the international festival in Tralee in August.
Laura with her parents Ann and John Durack and sister at the Anner on Saturday night. Pic: Paudie Bourke
Event coordinator Ciarán O’Connell said: “We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Laura. She was popular with all the roses and emanates the qualities of what a rose should be and we want to wish her the very best of luck. She will have a great year ahead. The night couldn’t have been such a success without our sponsors and we want to thank the team at The Anner Hotel, Mary Duffy hair Thurles, Annie blooms in Thurles , and my team who helped out on the day.”
“Finally, a thank you to 2017 Tipperary rose Sheila Ryan for all her work, passion and dedication she gave as the Tipperary rose. She did not only herself, but her parents, parish and the local community so proud,” he said, adding that he's confident Laura will make an excellent representative for the county at this year's festival.
And the Tipperary Rose has already taken to her ambassador role with gusto, having represented the Irish Kidney Association on the Anner stage at the weekend’s festivities which fittingly coincides with Organ Donor Awareness week.
Laura says she choose the charity in honour of her Mayo grandad, Paddy, who spent several years undergoing dialysis treatment.
“It’s an organisation close to my heart that support an awful lot of people around the country so I wanted to acknowledge their work and support the charity in memory of my grandad,” says the former Loreto Convent Clonmel student.
“I'm absolutely delighted to represent my county and the people of Tipperary in Tralee. I'd also like to thank my family, friends, the organisers, Ciaran O'Connor, judges and the other roses who helped make the weekend one I'll never forget,” she added.