Laois Rose Maeve Dunne on Portlaoise Main Street. Photo by Kevin Byrne
The reigning Laois Rose is urging other young Laois women to take the plunge and enter the 2018 Laois Rose selection.
Maeve Dunne from Mountmellick says that her year as Laois Rose has given her self confidence and friendships that she will treasure.
“Being the Laois Rose has been a whirlwind year with memories I will have for a long time. It's given me confidence in myself and my own abilities and I'm proud of everything I've done over the last few months,” Maeve told the Leinster Express.
An only child, it has been a special year too for her parents Ger and Geraldine, with the family supermarket Emmett Stores Gala also Maeve’s loyal sponsor.
“It hasn't just given great memories to me but also to my family. I think my mum is secretly sad we won't be going dress shopping again this summer,” said Maeve.
An event organiser at Croke Park, Maeve said there have been many highlights in what has been a busy year for her.
“One in particular is meeting my rose bud in Tralee. A little girl I've remained in contact with and I hope to maintain that in years to come. Her family have already planned my trip to Kerry for next year’s festival,” she said.
She also worked to promote her chosen charity, the GROW mental health organisation.
Maeve treasures her new friends, her fellow Roses.
“The other roses I've met along the way are like minded girls that I've grown very close to in such a short space of time and whose friendships I now treasure. We've cried together, laughed together and supported each other along the way and this is something we will continue to do as a group for years to come,” Maeve said.
Her message to any woman aged between 18 and 27 and thinking of applying to the Laois Rose selection, is to sign up immediately.
“Yes, go for it! You have not one to thing to lose from entering, only everything to gain. When I look at my life before the Rose of Tralee I was happy and content with everything but this has given me so much, so that's why I would just tell you to send in the application. Tell yourself 'If it's meant to be, it's up to me',” said Maeve.
The Laois Rose selection night takes place at the Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise on Sunday, May 6. Sports clubs, societies, groups and businesses can all sponsor entrants. Anyone interested is invited to the official launch with Laois Rose Maeve Dunne, at the Midlands Park Hotel on Saturday, February 24 from 6pm.
To apply, contact the Laois Rose Team of Lyn on 083 4631611 or Steve on 086 2505791. Hopefuls can also enter via the Rose of Tralee website here.
The Leinster Express is delighted to support the Laois Rose Selection again as exclusive media partner. Laois Shopping Centre is also a sponsor.