24-year-old Aisling Farrell from Tang was crowned the Longford Rose 2013 following a gala event at the Longford Arms last Saturday night.
The 4th year medical student at University College Dublin (UCD) is a former pupil of Mercy Convent, Ballymahon and is the daughter of Susan McKenna and sister to Siobhán and Fergus.
The self assured and bubbly young woman managed to pip 13 other Roses to the post last Saturday night to claim the Longford Rose crown.
A large crowd gathered at the Longford Arms in support of the event which was also a fundraiser for St Christopher’s Services in Longford town.
Ms Farrell, who was sposored by the N4 Axis Centre, will now participate in the Regional Finals of the contest throughout the June Bank Holiday weekend, in her endeavours to represent Co Longford on the international stage at the Rose of Tralee Festival in the Dome in Tralee this summer.
“I was totally surprised when my name was called out,” the new Rose said, adding that she was totally “shocked” with the final result. “There were 14 girls in the competition and everyone was so different - we couldn’t decide who would emerge victorious.”
Focused now on the Regional Finals in just eight week’s time, the newly crowned Longford Rose is determined to represent the county at this year’s Rose of Tralee Festival in Co Kerry. “The Regional Finals take place during the June Bank Holiday weekend; I’ll be on the Friday night and yes, it would be brilliant to represent Co Longford at the Rose of Tralee,” Ms Farrell continued.
Speaking to the Leader, Chairperson Longford Rose Committee Grainne Fox paid tribute to Ms Farrell and wished her every success at the Regional Finals in Portlaosie in June. “Aisling is a beautiful girl and she will be a wonderful ambassador for Co Longford,” Ms Fox added. “The Rose selection night was a great success and all proceeds will go to St Christopher’s Services. I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who supported us in any way and a special mention for the sponsors without whom we would not be able to continue.”
Supporters and sponsors of this year’s Longford Rose include: The Longford Arms Hotel, the Longford Leader, Shannonside Radio, Grafter’s Hair Company, make-up artist Kelly O’ Dowd, Luke Baxter, Turners Printing Company, Matt O’ Brien Menswear, Schwarzkopf Ireland, Blooms Florist, the Tally Ho Bar (management, staff and musicians), Michelle Ghee, Shelley Corcoran, Benny O’ Brien, Paul Gurney, Mick Warnock, Rob McTiernan Barry Donnelly and team, our Rose sponsors Torc Café and Foodhall (who were regretfully omitted from last week’s list of sponsors), M.B. Coy’s Bar and Bistro, The Stag’s Head, Edward J. Valentine, Murph’s Bar, Brian Farrell Hardware, Casey’s Bar and Lounge, Longford Ladies GAA, Irish Seven Summits, Esquires Coffee House, Longford ICA Federation, Farleng Engineering Ltd, Stenson’s Chemist, Edel Nulty, Stephanie O’ Dwyer, Brenda Stenson, John Walsh, longfordlocal.ie, N4 Axis Centre and all sponsors of the raffle prizes - Hair Divas, Esquires, Vincent Maguire Hair Supplies, Halford’s, Gala Ballinmuck, Unique Boutique, Spirit Clothing and Elegant Interiors.
See www.longfordleader.ie for a slideshow from this year’s Longford Rose event