DÚN CHAOIN will have a Rose of its own this year as Louise Thompson has been selected to represent South Australia at the 2013 Rose of Tralee this August.
Corca Dhuibhne native Louise was named South Australia Rose at the selection held on June 1 in the Intercontinental Hotel in Adelaide and she is set to emulate her aunt Clare who was Kerry Rose back in 1986.
The 25 year old, who recited ode to the Blasket Island 'Deoraoícht' on the night of the selection, is ecstatic at the prospect at returning to Kerry to compete in the Rose of Tralee.
"Growing up I attended the Festival and always watched the Rose of Tralee on TV," said Louise who is the daughter of James Thompson and Máire Treasa Ní Chonchúir. "My aunt Clare was the Kerry Rose in 1986 and says it was one of the best experiences of her life."
Louise grew up in Dún Chaoin and attended Meánscoil na Toirbhirte in Dingle before going to the University of Limerick where she completed a Bachelor of Business Studies. She emigrated to South Australia three years ago and has recently obtained permanent residency. She currently works in Adelaide at the Environment Protection Authority as a human resources officer.
"It is so exciting to be able to return to my home county and I am honoured to represent South Australia as it such a wonderful part of the world," said Louise. "I had always thought about going for it and when I moved to South Australia I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get involved in the Irish community and to get to know people and also practice my public speaking skills. I felt that I had nothing to lose by entering."
"I can't wait to meet all the other Roses and to be part of such a fantastic festival. Everyone at home and in South Australia has been so supportive; they are organising the banners already!"
Louise is a native Irish speaker who was one of the voices on 'Rabhlaí Rabhlaí' and 'Scéilín Ó Bhéilín', two Irish traditional rhymes and storytelling books with accompanying CDs aimed at helping children improve their Irish. Louise has also had some of her Irish poems and stories published in the 'Labharfad Leat' compendium. She and her fellow entrants in the South Australia Rose selection process have also managed to raise an impressive $10,000 for a charity called Can:Do4Kids.
Thanks to the West Kerry contingent in Australia it would appear that the county's chances of success in the Rose Festival are increasing exponentially as Louise joins Dingle's Christine McGrattan (26) who has been selected as the Melbourne Rose as they compete for the coveted title of Rose of Tralee 2013.