2017 Longford Rose Laura pictured with Pauline Coady Belton of Grafters Hair Co.
Twenty-year-old Laura Ward from Edgeworthstown has been crowned the 2017 Longford Rose.
Laura, sponsored by Ancient Wisdom Clinics, succeeds Caroline Doyle as the Longford Rose after she triumphed in Saturday’s Longford Rose of Tralee selection final which took place in the Longford Arms Hotel.
MC for the evening was Benny O’Brien and Laura will go forward to represent Longford at the Rose of Tralee International Festival in August.
The eight other Longford Rose finalists were Amy-Leigh Webb, Charlotte McCormick, Rachel Masterson, Claire Campbell, Fiona McGrath, Jordi O’Rourke, Niamh Kiernan and Symone Donnelly.
Longford Rose Laura Ward is a big music fan and sang with girl group, Celtic Chique. The group released an album, travelled to New York and wowed a large fan base with beautiful music.
Daughter of Deirdre and Gerry Ward, Laura is from Edgeworthstown. Last summer, she travelled to New York by herself, where she worked in an Irish restaurant and bar.
Oprah Winfrey is a big inspiration to Laura: “As a young girl, she experienced racial prejudice, rape, a miscarriage to name a few and overcame them all.
“She was not expected to do much with her life other than work as a maid like her grandmother. However, she knew deep inside of her from an early age that she would do more with her life.
“She has helped so many people throughout her life raising awareness for important issues and spreading love and positivity in the world. She is extremely hard working and inspires people daily.
“She defied all odds and did not settle for what life gave her: she made a life for herself, one that she wanted and has spread great things through the world.”
Laura feels she will bring a positive attitude and a warm character to the role of Longford Rose.
Laura’s short-term goals are to get her Psychology degree from the Dublin Business school and to study Positive Psychology in a Masters programme, so she can learn how to help people live the best lives they can.
Her dream job would be one that allows her to travel to new places while helping others.
See Wednesday’s Longford Leader for more coverage of the 2017 Longford Rose of Tralee selection final.