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Wednesday 18 September 2019

Still on cloud nine: Newly crowned Rose celebrates her birthday after win

Modern woman: Limerick’s Sinéad Flanagan used to read the ‘RTE Guide’ and its biographies for Rose of Tralee contenders – now she’s become the winner herself.
PHOTO: STEVE HUMPHREYS
Modern woman: Limerick’s Sinéad Flanagan used to read the ‘RTE Guide’ and its biographies for Rose of Tralee contenders – now she’s become the winner herself. PHOTO: STEVE HUMPHREYS
Sorcha O'Connor

Sorcha O'Connor

Buying the 'RTÉ Guide' and judging the Roses from home seems like a lifetime away now for newly crowned Rose of Tralee, Limerick's Sinéad Flanagan.

Sinéad said that the news that she had won was sinking in "little by little" - and it's now a double celebration, as today is her 28th birthday.

"My dad used to buy me the 'RTÉ Guide' and I'd be looking at the biographies. It was really fun and it is funny to be on the other side of that now," she said.

"It hasn't fully sunk in yet."

After her win, the Rose was brought to celebrate with locals in Tralee for 'Midnight Madness' where there was a special fireworks display in her honour.

"I got a few hours [of sleep] anyway," she said, laughing.

Sinéad looked fresh in an orange dress and gold high-heeled sandals as she began her media duties yesterday.

Being a Rose was always something the young junior doctor had on her bucket list and she timed it perfectly, as she was planning on going travelling.

"It was something I thought about, I think it is a fantastic festival, something I was a fan of growing up - so what that was my main reason," she said.

"I would love to go the States, which is usually part of the plan and the southern hemisphere, so Australia and New Zealand too."

As for any naysayers who think the Rose of Tralee doesn't represent modern Irish women, she said: "I think from my point of view, I'd regard myself as a modern woman.

"Not many people spend eight years in college, and with all the women on stage with me from various parts of the world and varying life experiences - I think it definitely represents what it means to be a modern Irish woman and an international Irish woman."

Watching on as Sinéad had her photos taken in the Rose Garden was another young girl who, like Sinéad, had been picking her favourites from the 'Guide'.

Olivia Crean (9), from Tralee, said Sinéad had been her winner all along.

"I saw her in the magazine and I thought she was really pretty," she said. "Then when I saw her interview, I said, 'she is my favourite'."

Irish Independent

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