First up on stage and first choice for the judges, multi-talented Múinteoir Teresa Brennan from Barrowhouse is the new Laois Rose.
Last Friday nineteen lovely Laois girls made their families and friends proud as they took to the stage in the Heritage Hotel Portlaoise for the selection night, proudly sponsored by the Leinster Express.
Talent abounded, with dazzling reels from fiddler Orla Coughlan, Suzanne Lillis’ powerful rendition of ‘Titanium’ and Heather Ging’s comic video of her baking skills.
Art student Erin Singleton gave interviewer Brendan Hennessy drawing lessons, while psychologist Tara Malone describing how she restored a Supra racing car.
Many roses opted not to perform, with journalism student Michelle Hogan announcing to laughter “I am the talent”.
While judges Leah Moran, Adam Croghan and Charlene Foley retired to confer, the 2013 Laois Rose Sarah Conlon gave her final speech.
“You will have the pride of welcoming over 60 international roses to your county, you will speak in the civic plaza and lead them down main street, it is an incredible honour,” she said, thanking organisers Anne Marie Bowe and Bernadette Ryan for their help during her reigning year.
Then it was time to reveal the winner, a shockedTeresa Brennan, sponsored by Flemmings Bar in Ballylinan.
Wearing a floral dress she wore when crowned Macra Queen of the Land in 2012, Teresa, 24, had wowed the audience at the start of the night with her Irish version of ‘The first time ever I saw your face”.
The busy gaelcholáiste teacher is also singing on stage this week with the Kilkenny Musical Society.
“I am shocked and estatic, and so proud and honoured to be representing my community at the regional finals,” Teresa told the Leinster Express.
Co-organiser Anne Marie Bowe was “thrilled” with the success of the night, the tenth year of the Laois event.
“It wasn’t easy to pick the winner with the calibre of girls. Teresa is very accomplished, we have great faith in her to make it to Tralee,” she said. See pages 39 and 40.