Perth Rose Kerrie-Ann Barnes, daughter of Mountmellick native Stephanie O'Neill Barnes
Perth Rose Kerrie-Ann Barnes has strong Laois connections
One Laois town now has doubled its chances of producing the new Rose of Tralee, after the Perth Rose in Australia was announced last weekend.
Mountmellick was already celebrating one of their own being crowned the Laois Rose for the first time. Maeve Dunne is from Emmet Street, where her parents own the popular Emmet stores. An event manager, Maeve only recently moved back from Australia herself.
Now the town is celebrating yet again, after the Perth Rose was selected last Saturday May 27 as Kerrie-Ann Barnes.
The beautiful young Rose is a daughter of Stephanie O'Neill, originally from Mountmellick. Kerrie-Ann was born in the UK and the family moved to Australia in 2005.
Stephanie announced the win online, to floods of congratulations from Laois.
"She WON she Won she Won my baby is the Perth Rose ," a delighted Stephanie said.
Kerrie-Ann, who works at a rugby club, sang Black Velvet Band during her stage interview.
"What an amazing experience!! I can not believe I am the 2017 Perth Rose I wouldn't have gotten to this point without all of the help from my family, friends, and my Sponsors. Thank you also to the committee , and the judges, and of course the nine other girls I have come to be great friends with over the past few months! I am extremely delighted to represent Perth in August," she said.
The town will be rooting on their two Roses this August 16 to 22, for the Rose of Tralee International festival.