The week long Rose of Tralee festival was “emotionally draining”, Laois Rose Maeve Dunne has revealed.
Maeve, 26, from Mountmellick represented Laois proudly throughout the week, impeccably dressed and smiling for cameras.
“I got on so well with all the girls, and I am so happy with the Offaly Rose Jennifer Byrne being chosen, we all loved her, so I was happy in the end,” Maeve told the Leinster Express this week.
However there was an emotional and physical toll .
“I did enjoy it but I’m glad it’s over. It was tough. My feet are still in bits. It was emotionally draining. I suppose I put pressure on myself, and I got very little sleep,” she said.
Out of 64 Roses in Tralee, only 32 were selected for RTE stage interviews. The way the second batch of 16 was announced was “difficult”.
“ They brought us all into a room after breakfast, and announced the names. It was awkward, it divided the group. At first I was fine, but then some other Roses started to cry and I got upset too. Other things could have been handled better, like one Rose getting through but not her roommate,” she said.
The week was intensely busy with the 64 Roses being continuously judged.
“There was a lot involved, with every hour scheduled. After I didn’t get chosen, I relaxed a bit and enjoyed it, there was no pressure any more. We were still very much involved in everything, I did enjoy it but I’m glad it’s over,” she admitted.
She felt “disheartened” for her family and friends who had made the trip from as far as Germany to support her in Tralee, but never got to see her on stage with Daithi.
“I feel a bit guilty, but I knew there was always a chance, and they all said to me it was a holiday for them. I am so grateful to everyone that came down, and to the people of Mountmellick and Laois, knowing they had my back, was a huge support. A huge thanks to all my sponsors as well,” Maeve said.
She also thanked the previous Laois Roses for advice.
“They told me my feet would swell and I would cry. I took it all with a pinch of salt but they were right,” she said.
She is settling into her new job of Event Manager at Croke Park, and ready to embrace her year as Laois Rose.
“I will be supporting the Laois Connects Mental Health Week. I will do whatever events I can, and give it 100 percent. I am proud to wave the flag for Laois,” she said.