With Tipperary Rose Lauren Walsh not being selected for the International Rose of Tralee contest, it was up to Nenagh woman Sarah Harrington to fly the Premier flag at this Monday’s opening night.
Sarah, a 27-year-old physiotherapist who was selected as the South Australia Rose in Adeleide where she works in private practice, was second on stage at The Dome to be interviewed by Daithi O Se.
Wearing a long blue dress, the daughter of former Fianna Fail county councillor Tom and his wife, Anna, a retired nurse at Nenagh hospital, Sarah revealed that despite being afraid of cats, there was was one form of the feline species that did not frightened her.
“The only cats I am not afraid of are Kilkenny Cats,” she told the audience as she rowed in behind the county hurlers for their All-Ireland showdown.
Sarah, who brought an entourage of just under 50 to the event, said the family was still in party mood after her selection last may and her dad was “very excited” about her being a Rose and was right behind her.
She left for Australia to work, but her mother has a “10-year plan” to bring herself and her sister, Deirdre, who is Melbourne, home to Nenagh.
Sarah recited a poem for the audience that recalled growing up in Ireland.
Sarah was followed by Urlingford native Niamh Bergin, who is reprsenting Luxembourg. Niamh, who is in banking, revealed that she had gone to the tiny principality during her student years at UL and had liked it so much she stayed.
Meanwhile, two other Roses with Tipperary connections were due on stage on this Tuesday night. Western Canada Rose Catharine Joyce has distant relations from Ballingarry, Borrisokane, while Nottingham Rose Claire Regan has connections to Coolbawn,
Claire, 27, is following in her mother’s footsteps as her mum, Anne (nee Stanley), 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. 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.