During the weeks leading up to Saturday, April 8th all was being prepared for the
Monaghan Rose of Tralee selection night which would be held in the Four Seasons Hotel.
On a few occasions the 9 contestants were together and on Saturday the judges interviewed
each girl individually and on Saturday evening all gathered at the hotel for photos
and in readiness for the presentation on stage where Sean McCaffrey, the MC for the
event, would interview each. The girls were escorted by members of Monaghan Arch
Club, all of whom took their task very seriously and carried it out like professionals.
The girls had met with their escorts at the Arch Club party on the previous Thursday
night. The show began and each girl was interviewed and the judges retired to make
their decision - I did not envy them their task. At the interval all were entertained
by Ian Hall, an Arch Club member, who has recently released a CD with a number of
his favourite songs and it is selling like hot cakes and he had the audience singing,
clapping and rocking to his presentation on Saturday night. Tickets were also sold
for a raffle, proceeds of which were going to Crocus. The outgoing Monaghan Rose,
Pamela Allen, was praised by all for the manner in which she represented the county
last year and not just in Tralee itself but at many other functions. Gifts were exchanged
by her with Sonia Casey, Monaghan Rose Organiser, who has been a 'fantastic friend'
to Pamela during the past year. Pamela thanked everyone who had helped her along
the way and who had supported her in all she undertook and she wished the new Rose
a fabulous year ahead. Finally it was time for Sean to open the envelope and announce
the winner which was Maria Murnaghan, sponsored by Lisdoonan Development Association.
When her tiara and jewellery were in place she was joined on stage by her family
and friends and gradually her selection as Monaghan Rose began to become a reality
for her. All the other contestants can be proud of their contribution as all of them
came across as beautiful, sincere and well balanced individuals with a sense of humour.
They were - Karen Mackeral, Aine Murray, Deirbhile Dempsey, Karla Corr, Alana McDonald,
Sarah McAree, Stacey Cooney, and Nadine Kerley. The escorts included - Lee McMahon,
Dermot Keelan, Richard Hanratty, Paul McKenna, Tom Cloonan, Bernard Reilly, Terry
Curtis, Brendan Haughey and Nigel McClave. It was also lovely to see so many of the
2016 Roses from other areas with their partners attend to give support to Pamela
on her final night as Monaghan Rose. Well done to Sonia Casey and Sean Flanagan and
their hard working committee on a job well done and we wish Sonia and Sean every
blessing on their big day coming up. Our congratulations to Maria and we wish her
an enjoyable, interesting and exciting year ahead.