Eileen Slattery CLARE
Eileen Slattery Mostafa became Rose of Tralee in 1968 representing Clare, and has been the only Clare Rose to win the title
After my world trip, my prize for winning the title, I was fortunate to be sent to Spain to represent Ireland in the Maja Competition where I won the title 'Maja Sympathica'. I then returned to Knappogue Castle to resume my singing and acting career for a brief time. After leaving there I travelled to London to study Nursing where I met my husband, Dr Mostafa, newly graduated from the Royal College of Physicians. We then travelled to the United States to further his education and for me to assume the role of wife and mother. Married for 20 years and now single, I am the proud mother of three sons and one grandson.
For the last 12 years I have been a Holistic Practitioner, Yoga and Health Coach. I own and operate a private practice in Columbia, South Carolina. I also teach seminars at the Leadership Institute for Woman’s Studies at Columbia College. I am devoted to advancing the knowledge of holistic medicine and the prevention of disease and assisting in longevity. Though I have received many accolades for my voluntary efforts I am most proud of raising three sons. My oldest son Hesham is a Psychology Counsellor, my middle son Byron is an Air Force F-15 Fighter Pilot and has just completed his second mission in Afghanistan, Adam my youngest son has a career in Pharmaceutical sales in Nashville.
Becoming the Rose of Tralee meant so many things to me but particularly it afforded me the opportunity to realize a life long dream: to travel and see the world, promote Ireland, and the Festival. A dream whose seed was planted a long time ago when I was a young girl perusing the World Atlas at home in Clare.
Memories of being the Rose are numerous! However, one that stands out is the homecoming that my village Clarecastle gave me. The open house that my parents gave, the bonfires, the flowers that decorated the entire village, and the several thousand people who came to celebrate. To witness the love, warmth and genuine pride that the people of Clarecastle and the surrounds showed is one that will live in my mind forever.
I am proud that I have helped promote Ireland since I came to Columbia, South Carolina in 1974. My family hosted James Galway at a fund raiser, I have given numerous interviews on St Patrick's Day showcasing the culinary and music culture of Ireland, and opened our home to poets, leaders, writers and musicians. I have worked for 20 years as a volunteer to promote the arts in Columbia. Living in a college town I hosted many International heads of state and a reception at my home for Frank McCourt when he visited the University. I now serve on the Board of the University of South Carolina Ballet.
During these past 30 years I have continued my love of travel - spending summers in Ireland, England, Alexandria in Egypt, and Turkey. When I find time, I love to write and to garden -among the flowers I grow are roses! I must have a Rose to remind me of the journey of a lifetime that commenced in 1968 and continues to the present. My plan for the future is to write about my extraordinary life and the many extraordinary experiences that my life has given me. You can be sure that Tralee and the Festival will have centre stage!