Monday 19 March 2018

Malahide's Maria set for Rose festival

Nicola Donnelly

Malahide's Maria Coughlan, a primary school teacher and two-times World Champion Irish Dancer, is rallying her supporters to join her in The Dome in Tralee on Thursday, August 17th as she takes to the stage as the Dublin Rose for the Rose of Tralee International Festival.

Maria (25) will be among 64 Roses from all over the world to take part in this year's Festival, which includes parades, funfair, circus, Fashion Show and fireworks displays.

The daughter of Brendan and Mary and sister of John and Niall, Maria teaches in St Vincent de Paul Infant School in Griffith Avenue following her graduation from St Patrick's College with an honours degree in 2013.

And because her main hobby, since the tender age of five, is Irish dancing, she fulfilled her dream to set up her own dance school, The Coughlan School of Irish Dancing, which opened its doors recently in Glasnevin.

'I have been Irish dancing with the Claire McKenna School of Dancing in Malahide since the age of five and I was delighted to retire last summer at the age of 24 as two-times World Champion, five-times All Ireland Champion and three-times Dublin Regional Champion,' said Maria.

She has also created her own Irish dancing blog called 'Twinkle Toes'.

'I love writing and want to use my own personal experiences to relate to people, to connect with dancers and to provide support and helpful advice wherever I can,' she said.

Maria is also a talented musician who plays the fiddle and the guitar and enjoys keeping fit as well as travelling around the world.

And in between all her travelling, dancing, teaching, blogging and music, Maria still finds time to do voluntary work at the 'Vincent's Shop' in Malahide in aid of the Society of St Vincent de Paul.

'I'm delighted to be this year's Dublin Rose and would like to say a sincere thanks to St Sylvester's GAA Club, Malahide, for sponsoring me in the first place, for without them I could not have partaken in this incredible experience,' she said.

As in previous years, only 32 Roses can be accommodated in the live RTE TV selections with Daithi O Shea on Monday, August 21st and Tuesday, August 22nd and this year's qualifying judging process will take place before the Roses arrive in Tralee.

Anyone who wishes to travel to Tralee to support their favourite Rose in the Dome or to enjoy any of the live music entertainment during the Festival can purchase tickets from

Fingal Independent