'Times are changing' says 'mother rose' Shauna Ray Lacey ahead of Rose of Tralee 2018
There are always teachers, nurses and doctors galore among the Rose of Tralee entrants, but this year the Carlow Rose will be the only mum among the 57 other girls in the competition.
Shauna Ray Lacey (24) said her three-year-old daughter Emmy would be cheering on her "mother rose" during the festival.
Shauna said that "times are changing" and she is excited to be a part of the festival, celebrating its 59th year when it takes place later this month.
"I can't wait to make an impact in Tralee. Times are changing and I feel we need a mother rose - I'm so excited," she told 'Carlow Live'.
"My daughter will be with me all the way, and she will be taking part in celebrating the festival along with my family."
Shauna works as the deputy manager at Boylesports bookmakers in Carlow town.
She will be supported all the way to the Dome by her mother Angela Ray, musician brother Luke, partner John and, of course, little Emmy.
"The town has really got behind me, the support has been fantastic right across the county," she said.
"Every day is a 'pinch-me' moment."