My cousin's death left dark cloud - Rose of Tralee
The Rose of Tralee has spoken of the tragedy in her life which has left "a dark cloud" over her family.
Maria Walsh lost her cousin Teresa Molloy, a 19-year-old student, in a car accident over five years ago.
Teresa and three of her student friends were killed in the horrific crash near Ballindine in south Mayo in November, 2009. The girls were travelling back to Galway from a Christmas shopping trip to Sligo.
Maria said: "Experiencing the loss of a loved one at any time of year is difficult, but losing someone during the holiday season is unnecessary heartbreak."
Maria was speaking as she lent her support to a campaign to get young drivers to "raise your foot".
The campaign is aimed at getting young drivers to raise their foot off the accelerator pedal and slow down.
Later, Maria was welcomed back to Griffith College, where she previously studied journalism.
The current Rose has spent more time being interviewed than most - after becoming the first openly gay woman to win the competition.
The 27-year-old posed for a selfie with students as she took part in a number of talks and media workshops on the Dublin 8 campus.
Robbie Smyth, Deputy Head of the faculty, said: "Maria was a wonderful student and continues to be the perfect ambassador for the college."