Marita Marron BELFAST
Marita Marron Staunton became Rose of Tralee in 1979 representing Belfast, and was the third Belfast Rose to win the title
Following my win in 1979, I had a fantastic year attending all the engagements. It afforded me the opportunity to travel extensively and I met some lovely people.
I worked at the National Blood Bank from 1980 to 1984, covering the country with the mobile unit, again meeting lots of people, and was able to attend many charity functions as a former Rose of Tralee. In 1985 I moved west to Castlebar to marry my husband Jimmy Staunton. We have five boys: Mark, James, Luke, Matthew and Simon and finally a lovely girl, Rachel. Before the children arrived I worked alongside my husband in the sports business, Staunton’s Intersport, now Elvery’s Sports.
Winning the Rose in 1979 gave me the opportunity to bring some good news home to the City of Belfast, at a time when the troubles were foremost in people’s minds. My mother Mae and my sister Bernardine were especially delighted and I arrived home just in time for her wedding, to photographers on the lawn for the Belfast papers.
The most memorable occasion was the actual night of my crowning. Tralee made you feel very special and really, like a dream come true from then to now, it has been an honour to be associated with Tralee as a past winner of the event.
As I was crowned the 21st Rose, a special commemorative trophy was commissioned from Waterford Crystal and this has pride of place in my home. It has survived intact despite six kids. As my family grows up, I hope to become involved in more local charities and organisations. Since the Mayo Rose Selection Committee was formed, I have been actively involved in the selection process and was a Judge for the selection of Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin in 2005.