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TEXAS ROSE Haley O’Sullivan has been named as this year’s Rose of Tralee beating 31 other contestants including British Roses Lisa O’Halloran (Liverpool), Marie McDermott (Manchester) and Grace Kenny (London).
Presenter Dáithí O Sé unveiled the winner at the Festival Dome in Tralee last night following two days of competition from Roses throughout the world.
A tearful Ms O’Sullivan said last night after winning: “Everyone was so fabulous, I can’t believe this is happening.”
Listen to an audio interview with Haley here.
The delighted 25-year-old, who is originally from Arizona, was the bookies favourite from early on in the competition.
She became the first US Rose to win the title in six years and was presented with the traditional Newbridge Silverware crown from outgoing Rose Nicola McEvoy.
A former primary school teacher, she now works as a marketing co-ordinator for an industrial chemical company.
Her grandfather came from Bere Island off the coast of Cork and she was cheered on by her parents and by her boyfriend Davy, from Monaghan, and his seven-year-old daughter Lilly.
On the night, London Rose Grace Kenny performed Irish dancing in the dark with traditional UV light illuminating her glow-in-the-dark space trousers.
Liverpool Rose Lisa O’Halloran showed off her talent by reading out a poem called ‘What is my Talent’.
Meanwhile, it is another US Rose who is the talk of Tralee with New Orleans Rose Molly Molloy Gambel celebrating after her boyfriend proposed live on stage on Monday night.
The 23-year-old – who was visibly shocked when boyfriend Kyle Catlett (23) got down on one knee said that there was one thing she would change about her reaction to the shock proposal.
“I wouldn’t have said ‘no, no, no’ so many times,” she said.