Niamh Flanagan is crowned Leitrim Rose 2012

Aughawillan’s Niamh Flanagan was selected as Leitrim’s Rose 2012 at a glittering and packed out event in The Landmark Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon last Saturday night, May 5.

Aughawillan’s Niamh Flanagan was selected as Leitrim’s Rose 2012 at a glittering and packed out event in The Landmark Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon last Saturday night, May 5.

By Fiona Heavey

Nine ladies from around the county took part in the Leitrim Rose Selection and made their families, their communities and themselves extremely proud with their outstanding performances.

But it was ‘No Pressure Flanagan’ the lady from Garadice, who won over the judges with her natural and bubbly personality.

The girls had all taken part in individual interviews and group discussions earlier in the day, before they transformed into glamourous ladies gracing the stage before around 300 people.

It was an entertaining night, as Brendan Hennessy took on the job of well known Daithi O’Shea and put the girls at ease on stage, bringing out everyone’s best qualities. We enjoyed beautiful singing in Irish and English, karate chops, original poetry, fine flute music, a boxing lesson, crowd pleasing hip hop dancing, some strange cheese recipes and learned about CSI Drumreilly and one girl’s fear of sheep!

The crowd were amazing, large, loud and enough flags and banners to get you on to Winning Streak. It was great to see so much support for these wonderful girls, some who had flew in especially or dashed from finishing important college exams, all wanting the chance to represent Leitrim in the Rose of Tralee 2012.

Twenty year old Niamh Flanagan was surprised and speechless after her name was called out on stage. It was not an easy decision for the judges Eileen Abbott, Ben Tighe and myself, to pick just one from such an excellent line out of Leitrim’s finest, each of the girls brought something unique to the event. But only one can win.

While Niamh came to terms with the big news on stage, the Aughawillan crew went mental on the floor, jumping, shouting with excitement and flying the blue and yellow club flags high and frantic.

Niamh thanked everyone for their support and expressed gratitude for being selected, as Brenda Stenson handed over the Leitrim Rose sash.

Niamh is doing a Childcare Management Course in Athlone IT and works part time for Mullross Nursing Home – who were her sponsors for the event. Daughter of Michael (well known referee) and Collette Flanagan she comes from a well known GAA family and she also plays for Aughawillan Ladies and has refereed some underage GAA games. The caring young lady who wants to set up her own childcare business in the county told the crowd her nickname at home is ‘No Pressure Flanagan’ as that is what her father says to her.

Niamh was joined on stage by her family and friends before she went on to celebrate her success in Club 360 with the other roses, including the 2012 Fermanagh and Galway winning roses.

Niamh will now begin preparations for the Rose of Tralee Regional Finals in Portlaoise on the June Bank Holiday weekend. From 28 Irish roses, only 7 go through to the final in Tralee.

The Leitrim Rose Selection night raised €800 for Adi Roche’s Chernobyl Children charity.