New Rose gets into the swing of things
LONDON's Charmaine Kenny yesterday spent her first full day as Rose of Tralee and said she was looking forward to her year as international ambassador for the festival.
The Kildare-born former Trinity College scholar, the 51st Rose, took to the Rose Garden in Tralee's town park yesterday morning despite only getting an hour's sleep the night before.
But she was outdone by the very first Rose and member of this year's judging panel, 69-year-old Alice O'Sullivan, who partied through the night without heading for bed once, before freshening herself up with a 3km walk yesterday morning.
"I feel like a bit of a lightweight beside her," said Charmaine.
The 26-year-old aspiring entrepreneur is only just coming to terms with winning the contest in its Golden Jubilee year.
"It's sunk in a little more than last night because I was little bit out of it then and hadn't a clue what was going on, I wasn't able to string a sentence together.
"And poor old Ray was trying to get a few words out of me and all I had was a big cheesy grin."
She was taken on a midnight parade around the town, which she described as "magical".
"Apparently it was freezing cold but I couldn't feel a thing!
"I've had loads of calls, texts and voicemails and I'm hoping to catch up with some of my supporters who came up.
"I'm looking forward to having a good old natter with them."
She said she hopes to sit down with the organising committee in the next few days and set out what she wants to do for the year ahead. But she vowed to do the role justice for the other girls who competed this year.
And after spending the week on the arm of her escort, she's now set to return to her proud boyfriend Sean.