By Paddy McIlwaine
Like many of our readers, I tuned in last night to the Rose of Tralee, hoping that our Antrim Rose, Mollie O’Brien would collect the coveted award. Mollie looked beautiful and gave an excellent interview and exhibition of Irish Dancing but alas it was not to be.
The award went to Róisín Wiley, the New York Rose, who was named the 2023 Rose of Tralee at the conclusion of this year’s festival in Co Kerry.
Ms Wiley, the vice-president of sales at a New York City marketing firm, has roots in Co Limerick – her mother Majella is from Templeglantine, while her father Eddie is a native of Kilmallock.
Speaking after the result, Ms Wiley said she was shocked “in the most amazing way”.
“I started this journey knowing that the Rose of Tralee was the main goal, and I’m just excited now to see what’s to come. This has been something I’ve hoped for my whole life, and now I’m just ready to take on that next chapter,” she said.
Like the supporters of all the other 31 contestants I was disappointed that our own Mollie O’Brien didn’t win the title but immensely proud that someone from my own club, All Saints had represented Antrim so well.
On the plus side the Ballymena club will have Mollie back in action soon for the Ladies Senior football team, where she is an excellent defender and I’m sure she will receive a rousing welcome-back to the side.