Excited Charmaine looks forward to a hectic year ahead

Rose of Tralee 2009 Charmaine Kenny in the Rose Garden of the Town Park on Wednesday morning. Credit: Photo: Frank O'Connor
Rose of Tralee 2009 Charmaine Kenny in the Rose Garden of the Town Park on Wednesday morning. Credit: Photo: Frank O'Connor

SIMON BROUDER

THE 2009 Rose of Tralee Charmaine Kenny says she's yet to get over the shock of winning the Rose crown but is relishing the opportunity to get seriously stuck into her charity work.

The 26-year-old London Rose who is originally from Kildare was crowned the 51st Rose of Tralee at the Topaz Dome last Wednesday.

For her trouble the former management consultant has won a around-the-world trip, valued at €25,000 a selection of Newbridge Silverware, and a perpetual trophy, she'll also be driving a Volvo C30 for the year of her reign.

Charmaine says winning the Rose of Tralee is a dream come true but has admitted she was so shocked when her name was called she can't even remember the announcement.

"I still can't believe I'm going to be the Rose of Tralee for the next year. It's only starting to sink in and I'm getting really excited about the year ahead," she said.

"When my name was called out I went into shock. I couldn't think or talk. I couldn't construct a sentence at all," she said.

The London rose described her time in Tralee as a once in a lifetime experience and said she'd miss her fellow Roses.

"I'm going to miss the girls an awful lot. We had a ball and they're like a second family to me now," she said.

Charmaine said she doesn't know exactly what the next year is going to hold but she's excited and looking forward to sitting down with her family, friends, Rose of Tralee organisers and outgoing Rose Aoife Kelly to plan out her next steps.

"I have one foot in London and one foot in Ireland. I don't know where I'll be from here on in," she said.

"It's definitely the charity stuff that I want to get my teeth stuck into most in the coming year. I've done fundraising in the past and I can't wait to get started," she said.

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