'I'm friendly and outgoing, I do Irish dancing and gaelic football, and I will be a good role model' - Rose of Tralee winner
The newly crowned Rose of Tralee, Dr Jennifer Byrne, has revealed why she thinks she won the competition.
The 24 year old junior doctor, who works in the Accident and Emergency department of University Hospital Galway, was announced as the winner at the festival Dome in Tralee on Tuesday night.
Asked on Morning Ireland on RTE Radio 1 why she thought she had been chosen to represent the festival, she said she would be a good "role model".
"To be honest I thought all 64 girls are fantastic," she said, "I guess I'm someone who's friendly and outgoing and I am from a very strong community [in Offaly].
"I do Irish dancing and gaelic football so I represent the typical Irish girl from a strong Irish community and I'm going to be a good role model and ambassador for the Rose of Tralee."
Jennifer explained what happened after the credits rolled on the televised event.
"It was absolutely incredible," she said. "I was brought down and we went on a float - myself and Escort of the Year Thomas Lynch. We went on this float and went in the parade and everyone was waving at me.
"It was incredible up on stage in the street and the response from the girls, all chanting my name, and my family and friends out in front of me.
"There were fireworks everywhere and someone said to me, 'Look up at the fireworks and enjoy the moment' so that's what I did. It was incredible. It's a moment I'll never forget."
Jennifer revealed that she has not "had a chance to think" about what she will do work-wise over the next year but said she will discuss it with her family and the Western GP Scheme on which she works and "figure something out".
Probed about criticism of the festival, Jennifer defended it and said, "All I can say is I had the time of my life."
She added, "The festival is where you make fantastic friends, you get ot know so many people. It's great for personal development, communication skills and everything.
"People don't realise the time spent together with the girls, all the preparation involved, you go through interviews. It's a fantastic experience. The friendships I've made are phenomenal. The main reason I would say to do it is for the friendships and the people you meet.
"The Rose of Tralee I've learned it's like a family. Everyone involved is absolutely fantastic."
Jennifer made history as it is the first time in the festival's 59 years that Offaly has won the crown.
The final 14 Rose sisters took to the stage last night for the Rose of Tralee grand final.