The 2016 Leitrim Rose was chosen on Saturday night in a packed Bush Hotel and the lucky girl to represent Leitrim at the International Rose of Tralee Festival in August is 26-year-old Annmarie Keegan from Aughavas.
Nine fantastic girls from all around Leitrim took to the stage and when it came to the drumroll at the end, Annmarie was called out which started massive celebrations amongst her family and friends in the audience.
MC Brendan Hennessy from Setanta Sports and local radio entertained the big crowd all night long but it was the Roses that stole the show, each of them doing their supporters and sponsors very proud.
Annmarie, working in HR with RSA Insurance, will now head to Tralee for 2 weeks of festivities in August with the new Rose of Tralee format of no regional finals in June but with qualifiers in the Dome in Tralee with Daithi O Se a few days before the live televised shows.
Out going Leitrim Rose Sinead Flynn gave an emotional acccount of a life changing year just gone. " I never dreamed of how amazing the year could be. Apart from my son Kailum, this year has been the highlight of my life.”
Leitrim Rose coordinator Brendan Galvin thanked all the roses's sponsors and the Leitrim Observer and Shannonside radio, without whose continued support, the Leitrim Rose event could not take place.... “The local businesses who sponsor each rose can take the credit for making this event happen. It is a wonderful night which brings many Leitrim girls that live away from home, back to their home county, under the one roof with all their family and friends.”
The CEO of the Rose of Tralee, Mr Anthony O'Gara was in attendance and said that the International Rose tour coming to Leitrim the past two years was the highlight of any rose tours in the previous 56 years of the Rose of Tralee and he thanked the people of Leitrim for showing such hospitality to all of the roses.
The Rose of Tralee festival begins on August 17 and the Annmarie Keegan army of supporters will no doubt take over Tralee in true Leitrim fashion.