The feel good factor is back in Longford and it's in full swing

Liam Cosgrove


Liam Cosgrove


Killoe girl Marie Brady crowned Longford Rose 2019

Twenty years old, Killoe girl, Marie Brady will fly the Longford flag over the coming days as the 2019 Rose of Tralee Festival gets underway

It may be the proverbial 'silly season' with the summer holidays still in full swing but there is an undeniable air of positivity sweeping through the hjghways and byways of County Longford.

The advent of Center Parcs opening its plush €233m doors last month, the performance and continued rise of 'Love Island' contestant Maura Higgins has certainly gone a long way towards heaping a more uplifting outlook on the county both from a local and national perspective.

That mindset is one which could go into overdrive next Tuesday night when the winner of of the Rose of Tralee 2019 International Festival is unveiled live on RTÉ.

The chief catalyst behind those hopes is Killoe native Marie Brady.

A pleasant, genial and outgoing 20-year-old, Marie possesses all of the necessary attributes required of the long running competition's overall winner.

Those qualities have not gone unnoticed by various bookmaking firms who have installed her as one of the leading fancies to claim the coveted Rose tiara next week.

But there's one thing about being a 'Rose', it's an altogether different equation going on and not just representing this county but also being a flagbearer for the country and its people at large.

In an interview with the Leader last week, the special needs assistant encapsulated those virtues perfectly.

“I love Longford and I love the people,” she said.

“And I love being able to represent those people who do so much for the community. There are so many people emigrating now that there has to be a few of us young people left to carry on the community spirit and all the bits and pieces that go with it.”

An apt and fitting statement it irrevocably is, it's one which reinforces the belief that Longford is a county which boasts a young, up and coming populous who are ready to fly the proverbial blue and gold flag if given the opportunity.

Marie Brady has that opportunity and whatever the outcome next week, she has done. not just Killoe but the entire of Co Longford justifiably proud.