VIDEO: Rose of Tralee 2014: I'm not the only short-haired, tattooed woman who should enter
Newly-crowned Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh says she’s not the only short-haired tattooed woman who should consider entering the competition.
Stunning Maria (27), who works as a studio manager for Philadelphia clothing company ‘Anthropologie’, says she would like to see more modern, educated women enter the Rose of Tralee International Festival.
Boston-born Maria, who moved back to Shrule in Co Mayo with her family when she was seven, became the 56th woman to wear the Rose of Tralee crown when she was announced as the winner from this year’s crop of 32 Roses at The Dome last night.
The morning after her win she told Independent.ie it still hadn’t sunk in.
“There is so much more that the Irish community is involved in around the world and women are definitely the driving force behind that,” she said.
“My example is I went to Philadelphia without knowing anybody and pretty much quickly immersed myself in the Irish community and there are plenty other cases like me out there.
“I’m not the only short-haired, tattooed or even long-haired, tattooed woman out there and I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and just seeing what happens,” she added.
The new Rose was overcome with emotion when a clip of her brother Kevin’s reaction to her win was played for her during an interview on Radio Kerry.
Kevin Walsh is in Los Angeles and couldn’t make it home to the festival to see his sister win but recorded his hilarious reaction on video.
“I hadn’t even spoken to him and that was the first time I heard his voice,” she said.
“We’re hoping that he’s still alive because it ended with him saying, ‘My heart’.”
She also said she’s working on extending her trip so she’ll get to see her beloved Mayo take on Kerry in the All-Ireland football championship semi-final on Sunday “just to see the reaction on Daithi O Se’s face when Mayo wins”.