Rose of Tralee

Abu Dhabi Rose: Sara Kate Mangan

My name is Sara Kate Mangan, I am 26-years old, and honoured to represent Abu Dhabi in the Rose of Tralee Festival. At the age of 18 I moved to Liverpool to pursue my dream of becoming a nurse. After three fun filled years living in the city of The Beatles, a leap of faith took me even further afield from my humble Mayo roots to Abu Dhabi. What an adventure it has been.

Antrim Rose: Roisin McCloskey

My name is Roisin McCloskey, I'm 23 and live in a small town called Portglenone in Co. Antrim. I come from a big family, mum, dad, 3 sisters and 2 brothers, who all play Irish music! I graduated last summer from Queen's University Belfast, with a BA (Hons) degree in Drama. Since then I decided to start my own drama business called Dramability. Dramability is a non-competitive confidence building drama class for children. As well as drama, I also teach Traditional Irish Music lessons in Tin Whistle, Flute and Harp. I am a very active person and love to keep myself busy. Typically, after I finish one project I ask myself what's next. I've been dancing from the age of three and am currently training to be an Irish dancing teacher. In my spare time I work at the Jungle NI which is an outdoor activity centre. I'm a thrill seeker and love spending time dangling from the high ropes course or rolling downhill in a Zorb ball! I am honoured to be representing Co. Antrim, and will be sure…

Arizona Rose: Kelsey Kelleher

My name is Kelsey Kelleher and I am thrilled to be your 2018 Arizona Rose, blooming in the beautiful desert city of Phoenix, Arizona. I am twenty-five years old and I graduated with honours from Arizona State University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Design & Production with Dance and Music minors.

Boston & New England Rose: Sorcha Rochford

I am 27 and while I currently live and work in Boston, I am London Irish at heart. My mother and father are both from Ballyduff Co.Kerry. I grew up in London spending every Christmas and summer back in Kerry. I work as a political and advocacy director where I manage client relationships for a host of the most influential political , brand and non-profit organisations around the globe. Irish dancing has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I'll take advantage of any opportunity to bust out the heavy shoes, be it a polka set with my nan or a hornpipe with my sister.

Carlow Rose: Shauna Ray Lacey

My name is Shauna Ray Lacey. I am 24 years old from Carlow town. I live with my partner John and our beautiful daughter Emmy. In 2014​ ​I studied Year 1 of Beauty Therapy in CIFE. In 2015, I completed a TEFL course which assisted me to educate business entrepreneurs with pronunciation and everyday communication. I was privileged to have been an au pair for three amazingly talented kids while I lived in Madrid. I currently work in Boylesports bookmakers as deputy manager.​ ​I come from a background with strong GAA ties and am a proud owner of many county medals. I was a member of Carlow Rowing Club and rowed all over Ireland and Wales attending regattas. When I’m not working or in my heels and sash, I can be found taking my hand to screwdrivers and hammers as I'm pretty nifty at DIY. I can function surprisingly well with little or no sleep, babies give you that superpower! I am a strong advocate for breastfeeding and providing information to parents, under my voluntary…

Cavan Rose: Rachel Cusack

My name is Rachel Cusack, I am 26 years old and I am thrilled and honoured to be this year's Cavan Rose. I am from Killinkere, Co. Cavan. My Mother is from Co. Kerry (she is very excited to be getting back to her home county!), my father is from Co. Cavan and I have two younger brothers. I qualified as a general nurse from Dundalk Institute of Technology in 2014 and worked in Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Drogheda, Co. Louth before heading off to Australia for a year. I worked in a Cancer Centre in Melbourne and travelled around the beautiful country. Returning home I moved to Co. Galway and am currently working in the Galway Clinic specialising in Oncology and Palliative care. My job is my passion and I will be furthering my career in Oncology in the next year or two. I have played Gaelic football from the age of ten, and played with Killinkere Ladies until just before leaving for Oz. I received player of the year in 2011 and hope to go back playing soon. The support from everyone…

Chicago Rose: Katie Callahan

Greetings from the Windy City! My parents are both proud irish Americans who have raised my three brothers and me with the same strong sense of pride in our Irish roots. My family's heritage influenced me throughout my involvement in Irish film, music, dance and theatre. I am currently the business development manager for weekend student adventures, a travel organisation dedicated to assisting students studying abroad in Europe. Last August, I attended the Rose of Tralee International Festival as a Volunteer and saw first-hand the remarkable celebration of our Irish heritage that touches every corner of the globe. I am so excited to be returning as the Chicago Rose.

Clare Rose: Clara Burke

My name is Clara Burke, I am 25 years of age. I am currently teaching Physical Education and SPHE. My journey in becoming a teacher began in Tralee where I completed my undergraduate degree in Health and Leisure. I continued my studies in the University of Limerick where I completed a Professional Masters of Education in Physical Education, it was an amazing journey and I love being a teacher. Set dancing is a big passion of mine. I have been grateful to represent my county, province and Ireland on numerous occasions. Dancing has led me to many international competitions and performances across the world such as Portugal, Chicago, England etc. Other hobbies of mine are GAA sports analysis which I carry out for a men’s senior football team, travelling, fitness and walks with my boxer ‘Pogba’. I am actively involved in my community in various charity events, in particular a family run Tractor Run in Knock which has been successful for the past 10 years, aiding many different…

Cork Rose: Erinn O'Connell

Born and raised in the beautiful village of Aghabullogue Co. Cork. I am honoured to be representing the Rebel County! At 25 years young, I am a qualified children's and general nurse, currently working in Cork University Hospital . Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than helping people overcome illness and return to good health. Away from the busy wards, camogie is a real passion of mine and I enjoy both playing and coaching underage teams. I take great pride in seeing the young girls developing their camogie skills on the fields, and their interpersonal skills off the pitch. Singing is another passion of mine.

Derry Rose: Émer McKenna

My name is Émer McKenna, I am 21 years old and I am from a small community called Slaughtneil, just outside Maghera in County Derry. I am going into my final year of university studying Cardiac Physiology at the Ulster University in Jordanstown. I’m the ‘baby’ of the house with two older brothers and two older sisters. I am a proud auntie to five nieces and two nephews. They always keep me entertained and give me an excuse to go and see the latest Disney film. One of my main passions in life is raising money for charity, in particular for cancer charities. I feel like it’s important to give back to those who have helped you in the past. When my father became ill with cancer in 2002, as a family we received so much help and support from cancer charities. This is where my love for fundraising and helping others has originated. Overall, I am so excited to share this experience with so many wonderful and inspiring women. I am absolutely honoured to represent Derry at the Rose of…

Donegal Rose: Niamh Ní Dhubhgáin

My name is Niamh Duggan and I'm 21. I've just completed my third year in NUIG, studying Irish, Psychology and Performing Arts. I'm based in Galway throughout the academic year but I call Tory Island my home. Growing up on a Gaeltacht island instilled a love of Irish culture in me. I am a fluent Irish speaker and singer. I've been singing since I was four and have sang at weddings/other social events, as well as competing in Irish traditional singing competitions. My joy in life is my friends and family. I love meeting new people. I love to travel and experience different cultures. I adore children and have a passion for helping people and standing up for others. I plan to satisfy both needs from volunteer work and advocacy while pursuing a career in teaching. Singing, the Irish language and Tory is a big part of me. My platform as the Donegal Rose has enabled me to promote all three, along with other things I am passionate about such as positive mental health, self-acceptance and…

Down Rose: Ciara Kelly

I live in Cabra - a small townland nestled in the Mourne Mountains. I am 24 and the eldest of four. I graduated in 2015 from Queen's University with an undergraduate degree in Psychology. I decided to further my studies at Queens and completed a Masters degree in Atypical Cild Development in 2016. During my studies I took up a part time post with Autism Initatives, Newcastle, working as a support worker and I am now with them full time. In my spare time I am the PRO at my local GAA club Clonduff which keeps me on my toes. I have recently developed a club app which has taken Clonduff into the modern era of technology!

Dubai Rose: Rebecca Egan

Raised in the faithful County of Offaly. I studied Media & Gaeilge in Mary Immaculate College where I returned to become a teacher, graduating in 2015. In 2012, as I studied Media and Theatre in Chicago, I knew I was destined to become a student of the world. I have followed my hearts desire nd now teach in Dubai. Meeting local Emirati people and seeing the ways they are similar to the Irish, with their generosity and easy nature, has been wonderful. A published writer, and creative writing workshop leader, I adore igniting my creative flair, as previously enjoyed in theatrical productions. I'm 26 and humbled to prepresent Dubai.

Dublin Rose: Tanya Feighery

Hi, my name is Tanya Feighery. I'm 26 years old and from Tallaght. I graduated from DCU with a BSc honours degree in PE with Biology in 2014. I am excited to start working in Kingswood Community College as a Science and PE teacher come September.

Florida Rose: Victoria Sexton

Hello Ireland! My name is Victoria Sexton, I’m 24 years old and absolutely elated to be your Florida Rose! I was born in Dublin and grew up on a lovely little farm in Kildare where I have the most wonderful memories of my childhood in Ireland. I used to happily muck through the fields training horses with my dad and assisted my mammy at her salon in Monasterevin by giving hand massages to her clients!

Galway Rose: Deirdre O'Sullivan

Dia Duit ó Chontae na Gaillimhe! My name is Deirdre O’Sullivan, I’m 24, and am so grateful for the opportunity to be this year’s Galway Rose. Growing up, we spent our Summers in Tralee. As my grandparents lived on Denny Street, we always felt we were more than just at the Festival – we felt we were part of the Festival. To be returning this year representing my county is a dream come true for myself, and my family. Home is Luimnagh, a small village on the edge of Lough Corrib. I currently live in Dublin and work as a primary school teacher in St Clare’s, Harold’s Cross. I am passionate about health and have been a regular volunteer with Croí since 2009. I have also taken a lead role in St Clare’s active school flag initiative – which involves “Wake Up, Shake Up” and coaching the hurling team, among other things. Life has been a whirlwind since I was announced as the 2018 Galway Rose and I have had little time for reading, music and planning my future travels. That…

Germany Rose: Giulia Kearney

My name is Giulia Kearney, I am 22, and thrilled to represent Germany as the 2018 Rose. I am half-Irish on my father’s side and German on my mother’s side. I currently live in Kiel, studying law in my second year. Besides spending time at the beach on the Baltic Sea, I enjoy cooking with my friends and pursuing my passion for singing. In 2015 I lived with family in Clontarf, Dublin and attended the Holy Faith Secondary School for a transition year. Whilst there I had the great opportunity to play the role of Judas in the Jesus Christ Superstar school musical. As long as I can remember, my life has been influenced by the privilege of experiencing both Irish and German life and culture. Being a part of the Rose of Tralee Festival gives me the chance to be an ambassador of both countries and to express how wonderful it is to be half-Irish. Being this year’s Germany Rose also gives me the opportunity to honor my Irish grandmother Patricia, who unfortunately passed away in 2016.…

Kentucky Rose: Lori Gavin

My name is Lorraine, and I am the 2018 Kentucky Rose. I’m 25 years old, and live in Louisville. I was born in Mayo, and at age 17, after attending Cloggernagh N.S. and the Sacred Heart School in Westport, left Islandeady to study Applied Languages at UL. From then on I travelled and moved around - a lot. I’ve been lucky to visit over 50 countries, and experience living in Tenerife, Brussels, New York, Ecuador, France and Estonia. In January 2016, after five months in Tallinn, I returned home to start the job at Portwest that would bring me to Kentucky in August 2016, as part of the Enterprise Ireland G4IG program. I am now the Operations Manager at Portwest USA. Moving home was hard after six and a half years, but leaving again was even more difficult. Thankfully Kentucky has become a home away from home (just with better weather). I love travelling, languages and experiencing different cultures, as well as sharing my own. I also enjoy running, hiking and being outdoors, and I’ve…

Kerry Rose: Celine O'Shea

My name is Celine O Shea and I am honoured to be representing the Kingdom in the Rose of Tralee Festival! I was born in Foilmore, a parish just outside Cahersiveen, in the beautiful county Kerry. At the age of 25, I am a qualified social care worker and am currently working as a Dementia activities facilitator in St Luke’s Home, Cork.

Kildare Rose: Gráinne Carr

My name is Gráinne Carr, I’m 23 and I’m proud to be representing the Lilywhite County of Kildare. I grew up in Ardclough village where the current Kildare County hurling champions hail from. I am the youngest in my family with two older brothers and my parents, Evan and Angela, were also born and raised in Kildare.

Kilkenny Rose: Helena Hughes

Born and bred in the medieval capital, I’m 26 years old and honoured to be representing my county. I grew up in Kilkenny city, and since 2010 we’ve been based in the beautiful village of Kells.

Laois Rose: Grainne Hogan

My name is Grainne Hogan, I am 23 years of age. I’m so grateful to be representing the lovely county of Laois, I live in the great townsland of Cardtown at the foot of The Slieve Bloom Mountains. I went to school in Killanure N.S and then on to Mountrath Community School.

Leitrim Rose: Imelda Scally

Hello, my name is Imelda Scally, I’m 26 years old and I am absolutely delighted to be representing the Lovely Leitrim as their Rose in Tralee! I am originally from Roscommon where I grew up in a small village called Loughglynn. I have very fond memories of playing GAA with my two brothers Brendan and Christopher and my only sister Ann-Marie for our local club.

Limerick Rose: Hazel Ní Chathasaigh

I am a 23 year old physiotherapist currently working at University Hospital Limerick. A proud Gaeilgeoir, I attended Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh and then went on to study physiotherapy at the University of Limerick. I have a particular interest in musculoskeletal physiotherapy and have been fortunate to have a recent piece of research in this area published. With a background in competitive indoor and open water swimming, I represented the University of Limerick at both intervarsities and the Irish Open Championships. From a young age, I have been an avid Munster rugby supporter and I enjoy the atmosphere of Thomond Park on matchday. I play tag rugby in leagues throughout the year and enjoy running and swimming. Other interests include Pilates, aerobics and travel. I am both delighted and honoured to be representing Limerick at the Rose of Tralee International Festival 2018.