She was indeed 'lovely and fair', and a fine musician, hockey player and teacher too, but it was her promise to do her county proud that may have swung the win for Clough native Kate Hyland.
At the end of her interview with celeb MC Brian Ormond, Kate, 27, vowed “if given the sash, I will give a whole lot back to the community, and take it to the next level, I love being from Ireland and from Laois”.
Captain of Portlaoise hockey team, she jokingly warned fellow contestant and goalie Sinead Walsh “one of us will have a black eye”.
Growing up on a farm, with dad Canice and mother Olga, a principal in Clough NS, brothers Shane and Ciaran and sister Ruth, she joked too that that “we did all we could to avoid farmwork”.
She teaches second class in Portarlington Presentation Convent, currently “flat out praying” to prepare for first holy communion.
“Since they saw my photo on the Leinster, I've been a mini celebrity to them, getting cards and flowers, they think I'm not coming in on Monday, that I'm off to princess land,” she laughed.
A long term member of Camross Comhaltas, she ended with some flute tunes .
Not quite princessland, Kate is off to Tralee in August, backed by sponsors Laois Shopping Centre, milliner Pamela Curtin and fashion designer Heidi Higgins.
“I'll be proud to wear the Laois jersey in Tralee,” she said on her win.
For the second year running, Sheeran's Pub Coolrain had the winning rose, with 2015 Laois Rose Ailbe Culleton tearfully thanking her family and all who supported her during her reign.
“Ailbhe was a magnificent ambassador. She was the final Laois Rose to host the regionals and she did so with poise and grace,” said co-ordinator Anne Marie Bowe.
“I had a phenomonal year, the best year of my life. I am so incredibly honoured to be part of the Laois Rose sisterhood,” said Ailbhe, thanking her parents, family, sponsors and Laois Rose Centre.
It was the 12th Laois Rose selection night last Friday April 15, and 14 lovely ladies braved the stage on the night on behalf of their sponsors and community, to an appreciative packed audience in the Heritage Hotel.
Many had a stong sporting interest, many more music, with party pieces ranging from songs and dances to lessons in Yoruba, in sign language and even pilates for the amenable host Brian.
A large group from Camross Comhaltas again provided top entertainment at the interval, when a raffle was held for Ailbhe's charity Irish Water Safety.
“It has done my heart good to be in Laois this evening. We are proud to be associated with these 14 ladies, they are intelligent, just tremendous people who have done their families and Laois proud,” said Rose of Tralee executive chairman Anthony O'Gara.