Wednesday 23rd August 2017
Just what the doctor ordered as Jennifer Byrne is first Offaly Rose to be crowned Rose of Tralee
JENNIFER Byrne, a doctor from Clonderrig, Co Offaly is the 2017 Rose of Tralee and the first from the Faithful County to take the title in the Festival’s long history. RTÉ’s Dáithí Ó Sé announced the result in front of nearly one million television viewers and an audience of 2000 people in the Festival Dome last night.
Jennifer (24) was presented with her sash and tiara by 2016 Rose of Tralee Maggie McEldowney and Robbie Scanlan, Managing Director of Tipperary Crystal, lead sponsors of the Festival. Top Irish country singer, Derek Ryan serenaded Jennifer in the Dome and again on Denny Street in the heart of Tralee where thousands of people turned out for the Midnight Madness Parade and fireworks display.
Speaking straight after the announcement, Jennifer Byrne said: “I think my heart is about to jump out of my chest but I’m really, really excited but I genuinely can’t believe it, it’s fantastic. My first thought was ‘did Dáithí actually just say my name, I wasn’t really expected it at all’. I thought ‘this is going to be incredible’. Maggie McEldowney is an unbelievable representative for the Rose of Tralee and I’ll be asking her for a few tips because I have got big boots to fill now.”
A sports enthusiast, Jennifer has played soccer and Gaelic football from a very early age, and has represented Ireland in soccer at U17 and U19 level and in the World University Games. 64 Roses took part in the 2017 Rose of Tralee International Festival and already, Jennifer Byrne has encouraged Irish women everywhere in the world to consider entering the 2018 Rose of Tralee: “It has been absolutely fantastic. Even meeting up in Kildare we had a great time getting to know the girls, the very first night we got into our county jerseys and comfortable clothes and we really bonded as a group from there. From Kildare we came to Tralee and the Festival has been incredible, the parade was definitely the most fantastic experience of my life – well up until now anyway. I have enjoyed every minute of it and I have made such good friends with the girls and they are all incredible women”
Next year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival will take place from 17-21 August and online Rose applications are now being accepted at www.roseoftralee.ie.
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Notes to Editors Festival Biography – 2017 Rose of Tralee Jennifer Byrne (Offaly Rose) My name is Jennifer Byrne and I am 24 years old. I’m from a small rural area in Offaly called Clonaderig. I went to primary school in my local village, Ballinahown, and then went to secondary school in Our Lady’s Bower in Athlone. I studied Medicine at NUI Galway and thoroughly enjoyed my college years. I am currently working as a junior doctor in the Accident and Emergency department of University College Hospital Galway. It can be challenging at times, but I genuinely love my job and I’m very fortunate to be working in such a rewarding profession. Sport has always been an enjoyable part of my life. I’ve played soccer and Gaelic football from a very early age, and have been fortunate enough to represent Ireland in soccer at U17 and U19 level and in the World University Games. I’ve made so many friends and have some fantastic memories through sport. I am currently playing with Galway WFC in the Women’s National league. I also enjoy spending time with my family, socialising with friends, travelling, table tennis and tea! As a medical student, I volunteered at Barretstown, a charity set up for children living with a serious illness and their families. It was an incredible experience and I really learned a lot from it. I also volunteered in Mpongwe Mission Hospital in Zambia through a charity called Volunteer Services Abroad. It was a life changing experience and opened my eyes to how fortunate we are here in Ireland. I am honoured to be the 2017 Offaly Rose and I’m really excited to meet my fellow Roses, Rose Escorts and everyone involved in the Rose of Tralee International Festival. I am really thankful for all the support I have been given and so grateful for this fantastic opportunity.