THE 61st Rose of Tralee gets under way next Friday and the following Monday and Tuesday (August 22 and 23) 33 women from around the world will take to the stage - and appear on tens of thousands of TV screens across the country - as they vie to succeed the reigning Rose Dr Sinéad Flanagan.
Without further ado here are the 2022 Rose of Tralee contenders.
ARIZONA, Sophie Owen
Sophie Owen is my name, and I am 23 years old. I am from Taylor, Arizona, and this is my first trip to Ireland as well as my first trip to Europe! I was home-schooled as a child and spent many years raising chickens, goats, and pigs with my family. I then left my small town for the big city, graduating from Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor Degree in Communications and minors in Theatre and Social Work. In the future, I hope to pursue a Graduate Degree in English and work as an English professor at a university. During my college years, I received university scholarships for both theatre, speech and debating. I enjoy ballroom dancing and always listen to classical jazz as background music. In addition, I spend as much time as I can outside and am an avid camper. I consider myself a bibliophile and can almost always be found with a book in hand! I'm looking forward to my first trip to Ireland and Tralee, as well as the opportunity to represent the Irish community from sunny Arizona.
CAVAN Tara Rogers
I am 22 years old, from Knockbride, a small rural area outside Bailieborough. I finished my three-year Music and Geography Degree at DCU, and I'm hoping to start a Masters Degree in Primary Education in September after sitting my Irish leaving certificate. After finishing my degree, I took a year off to study Irish and was fortunate to be hired as a substitute teacher at Drumbarragh National School for the year. Sport has always been a big part of my life for anyone who knows me. I've been a member of my local ladies' team since I was five years old and have always enjoyed playing and watching games. Coming from a large family and a small town, being the Cavan Rose means a lot to me because I am making them all proud, and it is an honour to get this far. I am very excited to bring my family and friends to Tralee, as well as the experiences that await us.
CORK Jenny Byrne
I live in Douglas, Cork, Ireland. It is an honour for me to represent the Rebel County at this year's Rose of Tralee Festival! I am a third-year PhD researcher at NUI Galway, researching employment opportunities for disabled women in Cambodia and Rwanda. During my undergraduate studies at UCC, I discovered my passion for women's empowerment and disability inclusion, and my future goal is to use my PhD research to advise NGOs on new ways to include women with disabilities in their programmes. I've been a Trócaire volunteer since 2016, and I'm excited to be able to get involved in more initiatives in my community during my Rose journey. One of my many passions is travel, and I love exploring lesser-known destinations and learning new languages. In my free time I also enjoy hiking and sewing –both to varying degrees of success!
DERRY Áine Morrison
Hiya! I'm Áine Morrison, I'm 25 years old, and I'm thrilled to be representing Derry as the Derry Rose this year. I was born and raised in Derry City, and I am a true Derry Girl at heart. I recently received a Postgraduate Diploma in Physician Associate Studies and a Bachelors degree in Biomedical Science. In addition to Science, I have a strong interest in music and play the piano and flute. I love volunteering and have volunteered as a Team Leader in Children’s Summer schemes throughout my teenage years. My family are a huge inspiration to me and together we have participated in many charity events such as the LegenDerry Relay for Life in June. I also love travelling and experiencing new places and cultures, in Summer 2018 I worked as a Science Specialist Counsellor at a special needs camp in America. I am so excited for the adventures I will have as the Derry Rose, and I am looking forward to bringing a little bit of Derry to every place I visit.
DONEGAL, Katie McAteer
My name is Katie McAteer, I’m 24 and I am delighted to be representing my county as the 2022 Donegal Rose. I grew up in a village called Rathmullan. I studied Journalism and New Media in UL, which allowed me to live in Barcelona and Glasgow. I work in Public Relations and Social Media. I love what I do as it involves doing something different every day. I am also involved with Rathmullan Film Fest, a community-led festival that encourages people young and old to be creative. I hope to continue working in the media industry as it doesn’t confine you to one specific area or job. I hope to travel more, write more and experience as much of the world as possible. Staying mindful and keeping fit are important to me. I play football for Milford GAA and enjoy walking the beach –it’s my favourite place in the world. I was raised by and am surrounded by strong women, and it is an honour to be surrounded by so many independent, strong, motivated women on this Rose of Tralee journey.
DUBAI, Aileen Mc Alister
My name is Aileen Mc Alister, and I am 28 years old. I come from Ballymoney, County Antrim which is a small town inland from the North Coast of Ireland. My mum is from Glencolumbcille Gaeltacht Co. Donegal, and I fondly spend the holidays visiting my grandparents and relations there. I am so pleased and privileged to represent Dubai, UAE in the Rose of Tralee Festival 2022. I moved to Dubai in August 2019, as a primary teacher happily embracing every opportunity that comes my way. I have a passion for connecting others through my love of Irish dancing, music and exercise. I bring a taste of home to Dubai and have grown a community by introducing an Irish Dance fitness class called ‘ReelRobics’ to the UAE. I love helping others and was fortunate to lead Living Youth Teams on humanitarian trips to Ethiopia and Romania on behalf of Habitat for Humanity, both unique yet unforgettable experiences. I hope to revisit these projects again one day. I have lots of interests such as netball, boxing, Gaelic football, travelling, singing and playing music.
DUBLIN, Claire Connolly
My name is Claire Connolly, and I am 25 years old. I live in the seaside village of Dalkey, and I am both honoured and delighted to represent the Nation’s Capital. After qualifying as a Nutritionist in 2019, I began a PhD with the UCD Nutrition, Biomarkers and Health research group and Food for Health Ireland. I thoroughly enjoyed my Undergraduate Degree and got to spend a year working with the US Department of Agriculture in University California Davis. I enjoy cooking and am very passionate about Irish produce. I have worked with Irish Chef Neven Maguire in his restaurant in Blacklion, County Cavan. My friends and I started our porridge Instagram page "pimpmy porridge" in senior year to inspire the nation to dress up their morning bowl of oats! My mother is from County Laois and my father is from County Louth, so I spent many of my childhood vacations at my grandparents' farm. Last year, I began golfing at the Heath Golf Club Laois, enlisting my father as a caddy. I go for runs and attend F45 in Blackrock as part of my routine to stay fit and healthy.
FLORIDA, Rose Waldeck
Hello from the sunshine state! My name is Jennifer Rose Waldeck, and I am from Orlando, FL. I pursued my lifelong creative passion and graduated with my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design from Parsons in New York City and am currently pursuing my Masters in Arts. Always ambitious, I am working my dream job as a product designer for The Walt Disney Company. I design accessories that help bring magic to our guests, including everything from jewellery to ears. Outside of work I enjoy furthering my knowledge of art history, travelling to new places, spending time with my puppy, and designing my own clothing, especially to wear to the Disney parks with friends. My passion for helping others always keeps me active with a variety of organisations, including those focused on empowering women. Having been involved with the Rose since 2014 as a Junior Rose, I’m honoured to be representing the Florida Centre.
GALWAY, Clare Ann Irwin
Dia dhaoibh,Clare Ann Irwin is ainm dom! I am humbled and privileged to be representing the Tribesmen as this year’s Galway Rose. Although I originally studied Primary School teaching and Psychology in the wonderful Mary Immaculate College and taught for three years,two years ago I decided to follow my heart and join my family’s funeral business in Galway City. Since then, I have completed an embalming course and I now spend my time working with my parents, learning the ropes of this incredible profession. The last few years have taught me a lot, but I can truly say I feel honoured to be able to serve the people of Galway in their time of need, as my family have done since 1834. I am very passionate about women working in industries which are stereotypically seen as predominantly for men. Sport has always been a massive part of my life, having represented Connacht in hockey for many years as well as playing and coaching with my local GAA club St. Michael’s. Above all, I am a proud Galway Girl.
KERRY, Édaein O’ Connel
Hi there! My name is Édaein O’ Connell, I am 27 years old and hail from Glenderry, a small townland situated just 10 minutes outside lovely Listowel in North Kerry. After many wonderful years in Galway, I graduated from NUIG with a Bachelors degree in Civil Law and a Higher Diploma in Business Studies. Finally, I completed an MSc in Digital Marketing from TU Dublin in 2018. I had planned on a career in social media management, but when McDonald’s cruelly struck caramel sundaes from its menu, I happened upon a career in freelance journalism. Since that fateful event, I have written for the Irish Independent, Metro UK, The Sunday Times Style, Image, and more. I write about everything from pop culture to travel to societal issues and I am also a regular contributor to the Jennifer Zamparelli Show on RTÉ 2FM where I seek out the best stories from Munster and place them on a national stage. I’m also an avid reader and singer, having won two All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil titles. I love nothing more than getting on a plane, socialising with friends, and spending a week in the glory that is the Listowel Races.
KILDARE, Ashleigh Byrne
My name is Ashleigh Byrne. I'm a 26-year-old artist who was born and bred in the bog lands of Kildare, on a beautiful rural road just outside of Newbridge. At times I venture out to the heather and gorse to work on film sets or teach art classes. You may also find me making the odd cup of coffee. I studied Sculpture and Combined Media in LSAD and my goals as a graduate are to gather as much experience and knowledge in the creative workforce as possible. I am a big believer in the art of storytelling and One day I wish to harness my skills to tell the stories that our little island has to offer. In Kildare, our land is full of rich history and our spirit bright. It is a deep honour to be chosen to represent County Kildare, and I thoroughly look forward to bringing Kildare’s Spirit to Tralee.
KILKENNY, Molly Coogan
My name is Molly Coogan, I am 20 years old and I’m from Firoda just outside Castlecomer. I’m a student going into my third year of Business and Law in UCD. My mam is a proud Mayo woman from Derryharriff, Castlebar and my dad is from Castlecomer. I’m currently working as an Activity Instructor in Castlecomer Discover Park, guiding customers on kayaking, archery, high ropes courses and Ireland’s longest zipline. I am a huge musical theatre fan, so I joined UCD Musical Society last September and have loved the experience of working both on and off stage, as well as meeting such lovely people. I enjoy singing and playing the piano and I take part in the Deenside Players’ Pantomime in Castlecomer every year. I also play Gaelic Football with our local club Erin’s Own, and basketball with Castlecomer Basketball Club. I’ve been a fan of the Rose of Tralee from a very young age and feel so privileged and grateful to have the opportunity to represent Kilkenny in this year’s festival. Up the Cats!
LEITRIM, Saoirse Gibbons
I'm Saoirse Gibbons, I am 25 years old and this year’s Leitrim Rose. I live in Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim. I am a very proud Leitrim woman and as a result, I am and delighted to have been selected to represent the people of Leitrim and everything our beautiful county has to offer. I love to explore the scenic parts of our country, through adventuring and hiking to hidden gems in the region. I am attending the University of Ireland Galway where I am studying Drama, Theatre and Performance with Gaeilge. Tágráagam don ár dteanga dúchais agus thaitin andeis agam chun éa chur chun cinn. I would love to help promote and encourage love of the language in my future career. I volunteer with the Galway University Musical Society, previously a first-year mentor and I am part of the youth advisory panel (YAP)for JIGSAW. Improving mental health amongst young people is very important to me and I believe we can make a real difference to young people’s mental health. I hope to keep working with and volunteering with various organisations in the future.
LONDON, Hayley Reynolds
My name is Hayley Reynolds and I’m 29-years-old from St Albans, Hertfordshire. I was born in Cricklewood, London but moved just outside of the capital to St Albans when I was small. My dad is from Strokestown, Roscommon and my mum was born in Cricklewood to Irish parents from Kilkenny and Leitrim. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography. Having obtained my Degree in 2016, I then travelled Asia and lived in Australia for a year before coming back and taking up a career in Marketing. Since COVID, I've decided that fitness is my passion and have made the career change. I'm now a personal trainer at a nearby gym, with the ultimate goal of opening my own studio. I'm a big sports fan, and I watch everything from the GAA to Formula One and tennis. Hurling has always been a big watch for my grandfather, who is from Kilkenny. I've always enjoyed sports and was a member of the netball, tennis, and athletics teams in school. I'm now a member of St Colmcille’s GAA and enjoy playing with the ladies. I'm hoping to get back into travelling now that the restrictions have been lifted; I'd like to visit Machu Pichu.
LOUTH, Emma Barry
My name is Emma Barry and I’m a 27 year old Drogheda woman. It’s a privilege to represent the Wee County at this year’s Festival! I’ve just completed my post-primary Professional Master of Education degree in Trinity College Dublin. I’m excited to enter the workforce in September following 8 years in college, having completed BA and MPhil degrees before my PME! I consider myself a lifelong learner and am grateful for those opportunities! Football, especially at the club level, is an important part of my family's life. We have a special relationship with Stabannon Parnells GFC because of my late sister, Nicola, and her legendary performances with the club. I’m an avid baker who taught myself how to decorate intricate cakes while on lockdown. I'm a regular volunteer, especially for cancer charities, and I'm honoured to be an ambassador for Brain Tumour Ireland during my time as Louth Rose.
MONAGHAN, Rachel Woods
My name is Rachel Woods, and I am 20 years old. I am honoured to represent Monaghan in the Rose of Tralee 2022. I recently finished my level 6 Health and Social Care course and plan to start Occupational Therapy at Ulster University in September. I work part-time as a retail assistant in Dunnes Stores in Monaghan and as a SNA for children with special needs in St. Tiarnach's P.S. Clones, Co. Monaghan. I thoroughly enjoy volunteering with Special Olympics events, Arch Club, and Faith and Light activities where I have developed strong interpersonal skills and have adored working with a diverse range of people. I have a great love for farming, motorsport, playing music, jiving, and spending quality time with my family and friends. I am a country girl at heart and feel most at home in my wellies, on my family farm where we all work together as a team. I am very proud to originate from a close-knit rural area such as Tydavnet, where I was awarded the great honour of being chosen as Tydavnet Show Queen in 2019, a role as ambassador for my local area. I eagerly await this once in a lifetime opportunity to represent Monaghan, my friends and family alongside all the beautiful Rose sisters who I cannot wait to share every moment with.
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR, Jennifer Mackey
Hello, my name is Jennifer Mackey. I am 28 years old and very excited to be representing Newfoundland and Labrador at this year’s Festival. I work as a Registered Nurse, both in the surgical and forensic fields, and recently completed my Masters Degree in Health Ethics from Memorial University. When not working, I love performing. I have been a part of the Newfoundland musical arts scene since a young age, but my favourite memory has to be performing at the Canadian Embassy in Dublin on Canada Day. I also enjoy traveling and fundraising with Team Broken Earth, a group that helps provide medical relief to those in developing countries which included a trip to Haiti, where we supervised surgery and trained staff to adapt to more updated nursing. Additionally, I enjoy dressing up as “Hope” the garden fairy with the Canadian Cancer Society –Pink Days in Bloom, an organisation that helps support those with breast cancer in the province of Newfoundland.
NEW YORK, Cathrena Collins
Hi My name is Cathrena Collins and I grew up in Westchester, New York just outside of New York City! My mom grew up in Killarney, Co. Kerry and my dad is Irish-American from Queens, NY. I am 24 years old and currently entering my last year of law school at St. John's University School of Law. I previously graduated with honours from Binghamton University with a Degree in Philosophy, Politics and Law. In college, I volunteered with an organization that helps victims of sexual assault. The experience was both difficult and rewarding and taught me the immense impact the law can have on individuals. Also, during college I studied abroad in Barcelona for four months! I love to travel, read, exercise, and spend time with friends and family. I am so honoured to be representing New York in the 2022 Rose Festival, in part because my grandmother was the 1965 New York Rose and I cannot wait for the year ahead!
OHIO, Sarah McInerney
My name is Sarah McInerney, and I am a 30-year-old Clare woman proud to represent my adopted home state of Ohio. Born and raised in Newmarket on Fergus, I pursued Undergraduate and Postgraduate Degrees in Zoology and Education at NUIG. Since then, I've travelled throughout Europe, Africa, and Central America, and I've worn many hats along the way, including secondary math and science teacher, conservation scientist and educator, falconer, and so on. This passion for conservation, travel, science, and sustainability led me to Cleveland, Ohio, in 2017 to complete my PhD in Integrated Bioscience with a focus on Biomimicry, an interdisciplinary practise that mimics natural strategies to create more sustainable solutions. Since completing my doctorate, I've worked as the programme manager for an accelerator programme that helps the world's most promising nature-inspired entrepreneurs addressing humanity's most pressing environmental and social challenges. Outside of work I am very active, playing Gaelic football and camogie with Cleveland GAA, I enjoy yoga, horse-riding, paddle boarding, off-roading, camping, and exploring the beautiful Ohio Metroparks. Yet overall, my favourite thing to do is, have a cup of tea and chat with the family at home.
PERTH, Olivia Duffy
G’day! Dia dhaoibh! My name’s Olivia Duffy and I originate from the green fields of Co. Meath. I have been living in beautiful sunny Perth for the past three years. It’s been my home from home! I adore the fantastic coastline and culture around us and when I’m not taking a dip in the Indian Ocean or playing GAA for Morley ladies, you’ll find me working hard at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital as a radiation therapist. I have just finished my training on the only public Cyberknife facility in Australia which offers highly advanced technique treatment cancer care to those near and far. I am eternally grateful to have a career in oncology and aspire to continue progressing in the field. I am a volunteer with St.John’s Ambulance.I am absolutely honoured to be taking part in this journey and representing a very special place. The Rose of Tralee holds a special place in my family’s hearts. I’m looking forward to kindling new friendships, memories and to simply enjoying the magic of the Festival.
PHILADELPHIA, Tara Ryan
Hello Tralee! My name is Tara Ryan and I am a 24-year-old Philadelphia native. I first joined the Rose community as a Rose Bud in 2007 and I am so excited to be back in Ireland and have the chance to represent Philadelphia in this year's Festival. I recently graduated with my Masters in Public Relations & Sports Media from Syracuse University and am currently doing Sports Marketing for two large International companies. As a lifelong athlete and a woman in the sports industry, I have a passion for fighting for young girls to not only be included in sports but for those girls to know that they belong in sport. My dad is from Portarlington, Laois where his nine siblings and dozens of my cousins/BFFs still reside. My mom's family is from Ballina, Mayo where I got to visit my family just this fall. Throughout history, my family has taken great pride in representing Ireland. From my Great-Grandfather in the 1916 Easter Rising to my brother, Shane, on the Irish National Team at the Olympics, I hope to continue the tradition & represent the Irish of Philadelphia with that same pride!
QUEENSLAND, Eimear Naughton
I am Eimear Naughton, I’m 29 years old and I live in Brisbane. Originally from Roscommon I moved to Brisbane in 2015 to give the Aussie life a go, and it worked out because I absolutely love living in Queensland. I am an English and History teacher at St. Paul’s School, Bald Hills, which is a great school with amazing students and wonderful staff. Fitness is one of my passions. I split my time between the gym and Olympic weightlifting with the Honeybadgers Weightlifting Club. I love to see the empowerment women get from being involved in traditionally masculine sports. Languages and different cultures fascinate me. I speak French and am currently learning Spanish. My fiancée Jose is from Colombia, and we live together with our two cats, Binx and Chimmy. I am honoured to be the 2022 Queensland Rose and I’m looking forward to meeting all the other fabulous Roses and experiencing the Festival.
ROSCOMMON, Bernie Ryan
Hi, my name is Bernie Ryan and I am delighted to be representing my home county as this year’s Roscommon Rose. I am a native of Roscommon Town, but currently work as a Nurse Manager in Critical Care -HDU in the Mater hospital, Dublin. During the pandemic, I worked in the Mater’s ICU and completed both my Graduate Diploma and Masters in Critical Care. Last year, I had the privilege of working alongside the Organ Donation Transplant Ireland team. I am very passionate about this organisation and love to promote awareness around organ donation and end of life care. I enjoy Gaelic football and have represented my county at the underage level with Roscommon Gaels. Running is another of my hobbies, and I have completed three of the six World Major Marathons. I've had the opportunity to fundraise for various charities across Ireland through running events, and I intend to continue doing so in future events. I enjoy travelling and have visited five continents. On my travels I have had the opportunity to volunteer with DCU Global Brigades in Ghana (2013) providing medical care to rural Ghanaian communities and as a nurse with the Elphin Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes (2016). My family means everything to me, and we are all excited to travel to Tralee.
SLIGO, Eiméar Mulvey
I am Eiméar Mulvey and I am 25 years old. I hail from the beautiful village of Geevagh, County Sligo. Iam both honoured and delighted to be representing The Land of Heart's Desire, County Sligo. In 2019, I graduated with a Degree in Music and English from Maynooth University. It was always my dream to work for myself and be an entrepreneur. Thankfully, I have been fortunate enough to make this dream a reality. I am currently working as a full time dance teacher owning my business ‘Bróga Bríomhar Dance School’ where I strive to create a fun, relaxing and safe environment for children and adults to express themselves through dance. I have a huge passion for traditional Irish culture, heritage, music and dance in particular Sean Nós Dancing, the oldest form of Irish Dance in Ireland. I work with children and adults across Ireland boosting confidence, a positive mindset, enhancing performance skills and fitness. We cater from tots right up to adults. My ambition is to continue traveling and teach Sean Nós Dancing worldwide. I work closely with many charities annually and most recently, Team Hope and UkrainianAid Response. My companies events troupe perform at many charity events. I am a fitness enthusiast and regularly work out in the gym. My parents are both from County Sligo and I am blessed with great family support in reaching for the stars.
SYDNEY, Mairéad Brennan
My name is Mairéad Brennan, but I am more commonly known as Maud. I am 27 years old, and I grew up in Glantane, County Cork. After qualifying as a nurse at IT Tralee I worked in Ireland for two years before making the move to Oz in January 2020, where I have spent most of my time working in the Hotel Quarantine system as part of Australia’s Covid-19 response. Recently I have been working as a home care nurse for palliative patients which I absolutely love, and I hope to do further study in Palliative Care. I have volunteered with the Belarussian Orphanage Project and most recently completed a fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society. I play piano and guitar and have a huge love for musical theatre. I love to travel and most recently visited Fiji after the international borders reopened. Since applying for the Rose of Tralee, I have gained an entire “Sydney Rose” family who have made my experience so far amazing. I am delighted and truly honoured to be representing the Sydney Irish community this year and I am so excited for the year ahead.
TEXAS, Arden Stringer
Hi y’all! My name is Arden Stringer. I am 29 years old and was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. After receiving my MA in Writing in Boston, I went on to attend Ballymaloe Cookery School in 2017 and I’ve been working in the food industry, honing my skills at fine restaurants and bakeries since. I found Food Styling three years ago and have loved the fast-paced, creative nature of it. Since becoming the Texas Rose, my parents have sold our childhood home in Dallas and taken up residence in Galway. It’s been a long-time family dream to reverse what our ancestors did and come back across the pond. Recently, I’ve gone back to writing, combining it with my culinary expertise, and my ambition is to one day take that work over to Ireland and join my folks. Or perhaps open a wedding cake business, who knows! I pride myself on my connection with my family, my work ethic, my warm personality, and my desire to forever be a student of life. I’m delighted to take part in this year’s events and look forward to every minute of it!
TIPPERARY, Aisling O’ Donovan
My name is Aisling O’Donovan, and I am honoured and delighted to be representing the Premier County as the Tipperary Rose. I am 27 years old, and I live just outside the beautiful walled town of Fethard in South Tipperary. I possess a Bachelor of Education degree from Mary Immaculate College and was thrilled last year when I was appointed as an Assistant Principal in my school. I am passionate about wellbeing in education and am delighted that my Masters in Applied Positive and Coaching Psychology has enabled me to further support both students and school staff. I am fervent about volunteer work and enjoy supporting local and national charities. I lead an active lifestyle and during the pandemic I began running. I was delighted to complete my first half-marathon in aid of Barnardos this year. I grew up playing football and basketball and was lucky to be on All-Ireland winning teams for both. I have danced all my life and was privileged to be part of Mary I’s first ever dance troupe. In recent years I explored the musical theatre scene and thoroughly enjoyed being part of Naas Musical society whilst working in Dublin. My family have always been my biggest cheerleaders and I am thrilled to have them supporting me as I take part in the 2022 Rose of Tralee Festival.
TORONTO, Maysen Tinkler
Hello! My name is Maysen Tinkler, I am 20 years old, and I am so excited to be this year's Toronto Rose! I am currently a student at the University of Guelph, studying Psychology, Criminal Justice, and Public Policy. I am very passionate about psychology and hope to continue my education to one day earn my Ph.D. A hobby of mine is that I love to thrift! I think buying second-hand clothes is not only a great way to be a little more sustainable but is also a way to find some pretty, unique things. I have even bought some of my Rose dresses second-hand! I am very mindful to promote good mental health. This summer, I had the privilege of helping in a local fundraiser to raise money for Ukrainian families to get them set up with bank accounts in Canada. I am beyond honoured to be a part of the Festival, and as someone on the Autism Spectrum, I hope to challenge stereotypes and bring confidence to other women that despite challenges, it is possible to be a Rose!
WATERFORD, Helen Geary
My name is Helen Geary and I am delighted and honoured to be this year’s Waterford Rose. I am an audit associate at KPMG Cork, in the final year of my contract to become a chartered accountant. I am sitting my third and final set of accountancy exams this summer, the FAE’s –in the middle of the Rose tour! It will be a very busy summer, but I think they will offer a good balance to each other. I studied Commerce in UCC and was lucky enough to spend a semester abroad in Babson College, Boston. This offered me a really good insight into the unique talents that Irish people bring to the business world and the capabilities of Irish businesses on the global stage. During lockdown, I took up a keen interest in running and hiking. It was lovely to explore hikes around Ireland, with Mangerton and Coumshingaun being the highlights. Recently, I went on a hiking holiday to Madeira which was an amazing experience and a far cry from the lockdown walks around home. I hail from a small village called Ballyduff Upper, just on the border between Waterford and Cork. Along with my dad, I am a Waterford hurling supporter even if that outnumbers my mam who is a proud Cork woman! I am so appreciative of the support that my community have given me during my Rose journey which has made it all the more special.
WESTMEATH, Rachel Duffy
My name is Rachel Duffy, and I am 23 years old. I am from the small village of Rosemount located in the heart of the country in Westmeath. Last year I graduated from NUI Galway with a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and Spanish. I was very fortunate during my time in university that I got to study abroad at UNC Chapel Hill and the Universidad de Oviedo, USA. I currently work in P. Egan’s Traditional Irish Bar in Moate and I am returning to university to complete my Masters degree to be a Spanish and English teacher. I love my job at the minute because I meet so many new people every day, but I look forward to becoming a teacher and sharing my passion for languages and the arts with young people. I am a proud member of Cill Óige Ladies, a new LGFA club founded in my parish in 2021. I am a huge advocate for girls playing sports and I dedicate a lot of my time as a player and committee member. When I am not working or playing football, you will find me at a trad session singing a few tunes. My motto in life is ‘Don’t give up’.
WEXFORD, Joy Quigley
Hello! My name is Joy Quigley, commonly known as Joy by name, Joy by nature! I am 26 years old, and I am from Ferns, County Wexford. It is an absolute honour and privilege to represent the Yellow Bellies as this year’s Wexford Rose. I am a qualified Sports Scientist, Personal Trainer, and Yoga Instructor; while I am currently finalising my Masters Degree in Sports Science, specialising in the Science of Female GAA at TUD. I think it’s fair to say I have a passion for all things sports, health and fitness, so a career in Personal Training and Online Coaching was a natural progression for me. I am the very proud co-owner of The Fitness HQ Online Coaching business. “Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life” very much applies to my career and I feel so lucky and grateful to do what I do! I absolutely adore learning about all thing’s mindset and mindfulness, trying my best to nurture my own through daily meditation and sea swims at sunrise or sundown. I feel very privileged to say I’ve achieved some incredible life experiences through fundraising, college, body building, festivals, spontaneous adventures and travelling.
WICKLOW, Roisin Long
My name is Róisín Long. I am 25 years old and hail from the sunny Southeast of Arklow, Co. Wicklow. I am honoured to represent the Garden County at the Rose of Tralee this year. I have recently graduated from Maynooth University where I studied Psychology and Irish. Rather than analysing the brain, I realised my passion lies in analysing all things fashion most recently becoming junior buyer and merchandiser for a fashion company in Dublin. In my spare time, I enjoy step aerobics, sea swimming, arts and crafts as well as enjoying time with my friends and family. I love to travel, most recently I went to Dubai, and I can’t wait to tick off many more places around the globe. I love being apart of and giving back to communities by fundraising for local charities and groups. I am the youngest in my family and a Rose among four thorns (sorry brothers!); I am the only girl. I am very excited to have my family in Tralee this year and I look forward to the many exciting experiences to come as the Wicklow Rose.
YORKSHIRE, Charlotte Sellers
Hello, my name is Charlotte and I have recently turned 24. I am from Leeds, West Yorkshire and have grown up in a small town called Horsforth for most of my life. In my childhood I attended a local dance school, 'Joyce O'Donnell' and competed at a championship Level. At 18 I left Leeds and moved to York to study Social Work at the 'University of York'. Towards the end of my Degree, I won a local election and was elected as a Horsforth Town Councillor in May 2020. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and in March 2020 I began my first role as a qualified social worker in a Child Protection Area team. My role is very diverse, but I particularly enjoy working restoratively with children and families. I hope to really build on this and seek out new opportunities within my roles over the coming years.