Drumlish girl Kathleen Mahon was crowned as Longford’s 2014 Rose following a highly entertaining county selection event featuring eleven contestants on Saturday in the Longford Arms Hotel.
Reflecting on her triumph, the 27-year-old remarked, “It is beginning to sink in a bit now! I am so delighted to have the honour of representing Longford as our Rose.”
Employed as a youth worker at the Attic Youth Café, Kathleen will begin her Rose duties today (Sunday, May 4) with a visit to the Leitrim Rose selection in the Bush Hotel in Carrick on Shannon at 7pm.
Last year’s Longford Rose, Aisling Farrell, who made it through to The Dome for the televised Rose of Tralee International Final, presented her sash to an elated Kathleen, who now progresses to the Regional Finals in Portlaoise on the June Bank Holiday weekend.
CEO of Rose of Tralee International Anthony O’Gara attended Saturday’s Longford Rose selection which was organised by Gráinne Fox and James Duignan.
Benny O’Brien was MC, the musical director was Paul Gurney and the judges were Martina Glennon, Thomas Lyons and former Rose of Tralee Brenda Hyland (she represented Waterford in 1983).
Kathleen paid tribute to 2013 Longford Rose Aisling Farrell. “Aisling, you are inspiring, gracious and kind and I hope I can represent Longford as well as you have this past year. Best of luck to you on your next adventure. Thank you to all of the Roses, an amazing experience was shared with you all. You were all so kind and friendly, true ladies.”
Stephen Farrell was Kathleen’s escort and she was sponsored by Cherche La Femme lingerie store on Dublin Street, Longford.
Kathleen previously met Rose of Tralee host Daithí Ó Sé after he mentored her band at the time ‘Lilac Blues’ to the semi-finals of the All-Ireland Talent Show.
Kathleen’s passion for music also allows her to assist and encourage contestants in the annual Longford Youth Factor competition.
Indeed, her musical talent was very much to the fore on Saturday as she wowed the audience with her stirring rendition of ‘Summertime’, prompting MC Benny O’Brien to comment, “Wow Kathleen Mahon that was some performance of an iconic song.”
Kathleen thanked ‘Pauline Belton at Grafters and Daneka for making all the Roses look amazing’ and Sharon Devlin ‘for sponsoring me, being a great friend and believing in me’.
She also thanked all her family, her parents William and Geraldine, her daughter Cáitlín and her boyfriend Ben for their support.
The ten other Longford Rose Finalists were;
Eimear Kelleher (Douglas & Kaldi Restaurant), Leanne Reilly (Longford Federation ICA), Mary Kearney (Sherpack Packaging Specialists), Audrey English (Hughie Doyle’s), Ciara Brady (Tool & Plastic Industries Ltd, Longford), Amy Small (Coy’s Bar), Claire McCarthy (Kiernan Structural Steel Ltd), Amanda Stewart (St Brigid’s GAA), Liadhan McCormack (Octopus Kidz) and Laura Doyle (Gerry Lynn, Sportsmans Inn).