Experience of a lifetime for Rose

LAOIS Rose, Sinead Fennell shone on the stage in Tralee on Monday night, as she represented the county at the Rose of Tralee.

LAOIS Rose, Sinead Fennell shone on the stage in Tralee on Monday night, as she represented the county at the Rose of Tralee.

Dazzling Dáithí Ó Se in her Heidi Higgins designed dress, Sinead gave the nation directions to her house, as she tried to explain to the host where Sleaty, Graiguecullen was.

Speaing on Tuesday afternoon Sinead said she was having a wonderful experience.

“We’re on day ten of a wonderful experience. We have been treated like Kate Middleton during the Royal Wedding since we arrived in Tralee last Friday, it’s been amazing.”

The nursing student was happy with how her interview in The Dome went on Monday night.

“I was very nervous before I went on, but I took a few yoga style deep breaths and went on. I thought with all the lights I wouldn’t be able to see anything but I was able to pick out my parents and all the banners in the crowd.

Sinead continued: “It’s been amazing and I have so many memories to take home with me, I’ll be talking about it in Graigue for a long time.

“I’ve made 62 new friends between the other Roses and the escorts - where else could you go for ten days and make as many friends.”

Sinead told Dáithí that the “whole of Graiguecullen” had travelled to Tralee to support her and this was evident from the loud cheers as she walked on stage to the tune of ‘Lovely Laois’ played by the Garda band.

Among Sinead’s supporters in The Dome were her parents Andy and Geraldine, sister Margaret, members of the Graiguecullen Youth Choir and parish priest Fr John Dunphy.

The Laois Rose described the night as a “dressed up football match” with all the banners, cheers, tux and ballgowns.

And although Sinead’s fate was not known until late last night, long after the Leinster Express had gone to print, Laois came close to one victory in the Dome as Laois escort Paddy Hogan made it into the top three escorts.

The Camross native, who is the nephew of the 2004 Rose of Tralee, Ann-Marie Hogan, impressed the Roses with his tale of how he saved the life of a man who had a heart attack in the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel, where he works as a manager.