Killoe native Marie Brady was named the Longford Rose for 2019 and will feature on television at the upcoming Rose of Tralee festival in Kerry August 23-27.
The 20-year-old beat competition from nine other contestants to take the crown and said the support she received has been unbelievable.
“I was shocked. It was overwhelming and so heartwarming to see all of the support that was out for me.
“I was honoured to be picked by the judges, especially Maria Walsh the former Rose of Tralee. She is someone I really look up to. I was just absolutely thrilled.”
Currently working as a SNA in St Teresa’s NS and also studying Montessori on a part-time basis, Marie hopes to use the platform to help improve Autism awareness and help secure more funding and services to support families dealing with Autism first hand.
“I am looking forward to being on television. It will be a big platform to talk about things I am interested in and most passionate about going forward.
“The services available for families dealing with Autism are not up to date and I would like to see a bit more funding going into them. Working in that area, I see a lot of slips in the system and there are not enough services out there to support parents.”
She admits to looking forward to a whole week of ‘pampering’, whilst also socialising in the same circles as one Daithí ó Sé and making new friends in the process.
A Longford woman through and through, Marie admits it is a nice surprise to not only represent the community of Killoe, but the whole of Longford, something she will not take for granted.
“It is an honour to represent Longford. I would like to welcome everyone down to Tralee. I am sure it will be a great weekend.”
Marie will first take on the Rose Bootcamp on Monday, August 19, ahead of the official festival which runs from August 23-27.