Sunday 28 December 2014

VIDEO: Meet the women keeping the Rose of Tralee in the family

Published 19/08/2014 | 18:43

She is the third member of her family to enter the competition but Nottingham Rose Claire Regan insists there’s no pressure on her.

The 27-year-old professional Irish dancer has an unrivalled family connection with the Rose of Tralee.

Claire’s mum Anne Regan (nee Stanley), originally from Nenagh, Co Tipperary, was selected as the Nottingham Rose in 1977.

In 1990, Anne’s younger sister Maria was also selected as the Nottingham Rose and went on to be selected to represent Midlands UK in Tralee that year

Both Anne and Maria agree the pageant has changed a lot since their day but they still have cherished memories of it.

“Being here to support Claire has brought a lot of it back to me again,” Maria told Independent.ie.

Claire has one brother and Maria has two sons so as the only girl in the family, the hopes of there being a Rose in the next generation sat solely on her shoulders.

“There was absolutely no pressure,” joked Claire, who has grown up knowing all about the Rose of Tralee.

“But being here is even better than I thought I would be.”

And entering the Rose of Tralee isn’t the only way the professional Irish dancer has followed in the footsteps of her mum and aunt who ran an Irish dancing school.

Claire is also a dance teacher and runs her own fitness business ‘Fitjig’, aimed at building up fitness in Irish dancers.

She was also part of the Lord of the Dance troupe for eight years and knew Dublin Rose Roisin Lyons from this before they entered the Rose of Tralee.

Irish Independent

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