Gillian is the fairest of them all
Kiltegan native Gillian Burke was crowned Wicklow Rose for 2014 at the Wicklow Rose of Tralee event in Germaine's of Baltinglass last Saturday night.
The event was contested by 16 Rose hopefuls from across the county who attended along with nine escorts and an audience of over 300 who came to watch the evening unfold.
Brendan Hennessy hosted what was described as a hilarious evening which came at the end of a long day for the competitors, having undergone both one-on-one and group interviews as well as stage and dress rehearsals in the build-up to the night itself.
The show was divided into halves, with seven competitors performing party pieces before the intermission. In addition, a raffle held on the night raised over €850 for Baltinglass Active Retirement, which was presented to chairperson Mary Vernon.
Reigning Wicklow Rose Sarah Whelan was unable to attend the evening as she is currently in Italy, and so Gillian was presented with her crown, sash and matching earrings, bracelet and chain courtesy of Newbridge Silverware by Wicklow Rose of Tralee Organiser Louise Fleming.
Gillian – who attended Scoil Chonglais in Baltinglass and studies Media and PR in Carlow IT – was 'thrilled' to be selected as this year's Wicklow Rose, wither Mum, Dad and Grandmother present on the night to see her succeed.
The next few months promise to be busy for the new Wicklow Rose, whose first official engagement takes place in Kilkenny this Thursday. In May, Gillian will represent Wicklow at the regional festival in Portlaoise from which she will hope to advance to the Rose of Tralee itself, which takes place in August.