TEARS of joy flowed as Niamh Bracken was crowned as the Laois Rose for 2012 at the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel last Sunday night.
Outgoing Rose, Sinead Fennell was first to congratulate the new Rose and pass on the coveted ‘Laois Rose’ sash. She was soon joined on stage by her parents, brother and younger sister.Speaking to the Leinster Epxress, just moments after being crowned, the Portarlington Pharmachy representative said she was still in shock.
“I’m still in shock. I didn’t enter to win, it was always something I wanted to do,” she said.
The new Laois Rose thanked the Rose of Tralee national co-ordinator.
“I was working in Emo Court around four years and the Roses were out there for a photoshoot. Steve (Cronly) told me that day that I should go for it someday and here I am.
“I’m over the moon. I’m so proud of myself and delighted for my family,” she said.
The new Rose’s mother was equally as proud.
“I’m just amazed,” Bernie Bracken said, “She was always interested in taking part and decided to go for it this year. We just told her to enjoy the experience. She just entered to have a good time.”
But the proudest family member was Niamh’s sister, who is 12 years her junior. Her number one fan, Ellie couldn’t control the tears as her big sister and idol became the next Laois Rose. Niamh was also supported her dad, Portarlington business man Eamon Bracken, her brother Keith and his girlfriend Ciara. Her sponsor and employer, Portarlington Pharmacy was represented by Aisling Bracken.
Niamh was the first Rose to take to the stage following the interval and had the audience rolling in the aisle with her tale of her dad bringing a donkey, with a pink lead, home from the Ballinasloe Horse Fair in the back of his merc.
A floor manager in Portarlington Pharmacy, Niamh graduated from Galway Mayo IT last year in retail and customer service management. She sang the Christy Moore classic, Black is the Colour.