Rose of Tralee

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.

During the week I work as a buying assistant in Brown Thomas head office, and home to Kilkenny every weekend. I’m completing a Masters in Fashion Buying and Management part-time in DIT, having previously won the DIT Arthur Ryan Gold Medal in 2016, coming first in my postgraduate diploma class. I studied French and English in Trinity for my undergraduate degree, after which I spent a year teaching in France, but I missed Ireland and decided to move back and manage a vintage shop for about a year.

I love music, I play celtic-style piano and sing as an alto in the Brown Thomas choir. I’ve been a life-long fan of the Rose of Tralee, organising viewing parties for it every August! I’m a real home-bird and I love spending time with my Kerry-born Granny and my fabulous Mammy, both of whom inspire me with their strength of character - and their love of clothes!