Entertainment Festivals

Sunday 15 September 2019

Rose hopeful Victoria got thumbs up from Trump for Clare win

Victoria O’Connell will set off tomorrow to start the Rose of Tralee festivities. Photo: Don Moloney
Victoria O’Connell will set off tomorrow to start the Rose of Tralee festivities. Photo: Don Moloney
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

Victoria O'Connell won the backing of US President Donald Trump this summer when he told her she deserved her win as the 'Clare Rose'.

The beautiful brunette, who works at Doonbeg Golf Links and Hotel, will join the other contestants tomorrow as they start the annual week-long whirlwind of festivities for this year's Rose of Tralee, sponsored by Tipperary Crystal.

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Earlier this year, Victoria met the US President when he visited the hotel and said she found him "engaging and friendly" in person.

But with the visit long behind her, Ms O'Connell just wants to concentrate on enjoying her time with the other Roses and supporting local charities and events in her home county.

"I feel so honoured to be representing Clare, it is such a huge privilege, and I am excited to spend time with all the other girls and getting to know them and make new friends.

"What I am really looking forward to also is spending time with my family, who are flying in from the UK and Scotland to be here for the event.

"My mum is Scottish so it is the first time in years she will have all her children under one roof."

She added: "One of the reasons I wanted to do this is to show all the strong women and girls of the next generation that nothing is impossible. Every little girl tries on her mother's high heels and walks down the hallway.

"Now that I am part of a group of women getting the chance to represent different areas from all over the world, I want to tell the next generation of little girls whose shoes don't fit, just quite yet, that you can do this too."

The group will begin their tour at the Glenroyal Hotel in Maynooth, where they will spend two nights and will then travel to Tralee on Wednesday. The live televised final will take place on Monday, August 26 and Tuesday, August 27.

When it comes to her party piece, Victoria says: "I'm keeping it as a surprise, you'll have to tune in on the night."

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