Sunday 26 October 2014

Only local woman to win the Rose of Tralee dies

Published 22/01/2013 | 05:00

THE only local woman to ever wear the Rose of Tralee crown has died, following a short illness.

Margaret O'Keeffe Flynn (66) died on Sunday night in Bordeaux, France, where she had been living for the past five years.

A native of Castlegregory in west Kerry, Ms O'Keeffe, as she was then, was selected as the Tralee Rose in 1964 and went on to win the competition that year.

The former nurse and midwife was the only Tralee Rose ever selected to win the prestigious award.

The general manager of the Rose of Tralee, Oliver Hurley, said she was a "perfect lady" who never made a fuss and had passed away as serenely as she had lived.

"Margaret was graceful, unassuming and loved to keep in touch with the wider Rose family, returning to Tralee for the festival on many occasions," Mr Hurley said.

The late playwright John B Keane was one of the judges who selected the young student nurse to go forward and represent the town.

The prize on winning the competition back in 1964 was a continental holiday for two, which she took with her mother.

She is survived by her son Robert, daughter Ciara, sister Jackie and brother Aidan.

She will be cremated in Bordeaux and her ashes brought back to Castlegregory for burial beside her late husband, Neville.

Irish Independent

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