Laois Rose Sarah Bergin on her 'phenomenal' Rose of Tralee experience

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Laois Rose Sarah Bergin on her 'phenomenal' Rose of Tralee experience

Laois Rose 2019 Sarah Bergin from Portlaoise on stage in the Rose of Tralee with Daithí O Sé

The Laois Rose Sarah Bergin is coming back down to earth this week after what she describes as a phenomonal 10 days as part of the Rose of Tralee festival.

Student nurse Sarah, 22, did the county proud last Monday August 26 when she graced the stage in an elegant ballgown in Laois blue.

She had the craic with presenter Daithí Ó Sé, live on RTE television.

“We have all been in such a bubble together, and on stage it was the same, I think I was more nervous in rehearsals in case it didn't go well,” she said.

Keen golfer Sarah from Clonad, Portlaoise gamely had a fun putting competition against Daithí, knocking balls into a cardboard cutout of his face.

“I wasn't too impressed with Daithí beating me at golf, we'll say I let him win,” she told the Leinster Express.

She even let Daithí in on the Laois Rose Centre tip for sore feet from wearing high heels, a peppermint footbath.

Her highlight of the experience actually came after the new Rose Sinead Flanagan was chosen.

“We had a parade on Tuesday night, led by the new Rose of Tralee, through the town. All the nerves and pressure was gone and there were six of us on our float, we just danced the whole way,” Sarah said.

Her family and a big contingent of Laois supporters had all came to Tralee for her.

“There were people calling to me in the parade shouting that they were from Laois, and lots of people came down to support me, it was amazing,” she said.

All the Roses stayed together for a homecoming for the new Rose of Tralee on Thursday in Limerick, and then a trip to Dublin on Saturday, bonding their friendships long into the future. It will be a busy year for Sarah as she continues to be Laois Rose until April. A new Laois Rose will not be selected until 2021.

“We have our flights booked now for Frankfurt to the Germany Rose Centre for the Christmas markets. I hope to join them to volunteer in Chernobyl in February, and to march in the St Patrick's Day New York Parade. I'll continue then to help out with the new Laois Rose selection process in 2021,” Sarah said.

She says she will be proud to attend Laois events in her official capacity.

Sarah graduates as a nurse this autumn but with no Irish job offers yet, has moved back home from Galway to Clonad to start work in an accountancy office.

“I have moved back to Laois now so I am happy to put on the sash and support local events,” said Sarah.

For now the Laois Rose is now enjoying a well earned rest.

“I haven't even unpacked my suitcase. I have the Rose flu now as they call it. I'll be catching up on a lot of sleep,” she said.

The whole experience is hard to describe she said.

“It's hard to put into words. It's been phenomenal,” Sarah said.