Maeve Dunne, the newly crowned 2017 Laois Rose
A childhood dream came true for young Mountmellick woman Maeve Dunne, when she was selected as the new Laois Rose at a fun filled glamorous night in the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel.
"I am shocked and elated. I've been obsessed with the Rose of Tralee, with my friend Sarah Kearney, since we were kids. It's a dream come true to be Laois Rose, I'm absolutely delighted. It's going to be a busy year, I'll give it 100 percent, and I'm thrilled to be the first Laois Rose from Mountmellick," she told the Leinster Express afterwards.
In all 17 Laois women took to the stage on Sunday night April 30 for interviews by MC Brendan Hennessy, cheered on by a packed room of banner waving supporters, and accompanied by adorable little Laois Rosebuds for the first time this year.
Maeve, 26, is the only daughter of Ger and Geraldine Dunne, and was sponsored by the family business, Emmet Stores Gala supermarket in Mountmellick.
"I couldn't be sponsored by anyone else. When the organisers asked me who would come to support me tonight, I said my whole family, and they were 'oh here we go', but it's just Ger, Geraldine and me. And my dog Millie," she told the MC.
After two years working and touring in Sydney, Australia, Maeve said she is "home for good", now an event manager for Accenture in Dublin.
She chose not to perform on stage, but with twenty years of training at the Gabriel Lynam School of Dance, Maeve has plenty of talent up her sleeve for the International Rose of Tralee this August.
See tomorrow's Leinster Express for photos and full report from the Laois Rose Selection Night.