Ahead of the drama and excitement that took place in Tralee earlier this week the Rose of Tralee came to Lovely Leitrim for a whistle-stop tour last week.
Leitrim Rose, Zara Healy was understandably a proud woman as she took to the streets of
her native Carrick-on-Shannon on what was the first time the Rose of Tralee tour ever visited Leitrim.
After arriving on Tuesday in Lough Rynn Castle, the following day saw the tour move en-masse to Carrick-on-Shannon.
While the Roses all seemed to be enjoying themselves it is equally true to say the people of Carrick-on-Shannon seemed delighted to see the Roses visit their town.
As they made their way from Moon River to The Bush Hotel and on to Flynn’s Bar before moving on the Market Yard, the Roses were all warmly greeted.
When speaking to the Leitrim Observer, Zara spoke about the welcome afforded to the Roses.
“It’s been absolutely phenomenal, I cannot explain the welcome we have received here in Leitrim. From going in to Lough Rynn yesterday evening it was just out of this world.
“They were so welcoming and it was such a good experience for me especially.”
The Rose Tour visited Kildare, Dublin and Roscommon before visiting Leitrim as they made their way towards Tralee and Zara acknowledged Leitrim being included on the tour was very special for her.
“It has never been to Leitrim before, I’m a very lucky girl. The other Roses are so happy to be here, they are loving it here. They have enjoyed every second.
“The schedule hasn’t been too gruelling. We had a nice chilled out evening last night in Lough Rynn and we’re really excited about the rest of the tour.
“I’m just soaking up every moment here because it is such an emotional and fantastic experience and I am going to take in every second.”
Another who was pleased to be in Leitrim as part of the tour was the Dublin Rose, Roisin Lyons.
“My father was born and raised in Carrigallen and all of his side of the family still live in Leitrim, aunts, uncles and cousins, they are still based in Carrigallen.”
Talking about the welcome she and her fellow Roses received in Leitrim Roisin said, “It has been absolutely fantastic, we have been staying in Lough Rynn Castle and the hospitality has been fantastic. We have got such a warm welcome from everyone, it’s been amazing to come here. I’ve met so many people that grew up with my dad or went to school with my dad, it’s been amazing.”
No stranger to Leitrim, Roisin recently took part in a charity run in Carrigallen.
“I ran a 10K race for Muscular Dystrophy Ireland which is an organisation I am very passionate about. My dad actually suffers from it and other members of my family have been diagnosed with it recently. We did that on July 1 and raised nearly €2,500 and that was fantastic. We got so much support from Carrigallen and from Leitrim as well.”