Curraghboy student Orla Gately has been crowned 2013 Roscommon Rose and will now represent the county at the Rose of Tralee regional finals in June.
The overjoyed 19-year-old won the judges over at the Rose Selection Ball, which took place Kilronan Castle on Saturday night.
Over 200 guests attended the gala event including the Mayor of Roscommon Cllr Tom Crosby and his wife Pauline and Roscommon native Anthony O’Gara, who is Chief Executive of the Rose of Tralee organising committee.
All 15 ‘Roses’ from across the county were put through their paces by compere and host Ollie Turner.
It was Orla’s natural charm and ability to engage with the audience with her party piece, however, that seemed to win everyone over on the night. Instead of dancing or singing, Orla won the judges and audience over with an animated funny story.
The speech and language student, who is in first year at NUIG, was representing Regan’s Bar in Roscommon, where she works part-time at weekends.
Speaking to the Herald on Monday, the Curraghboy student said she was still “shell-shocked” having won the Rose of Roscommon title but was looking forward to representing the county at the regional finals in Portlaoise in June.
Daughter of Diarmuid and Bernie Gately from Castletown, Curraghboy, Orla is the eldest of three children and is granddaughter to “the proudest Nana in the country”.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all, I’m still surprised. I never really thought I’d make a Rose; it’s not something I’d dreamed about but when I was asked to do it I said ‘why not, it’s something different’. It’s been a fantastic experience so far and I’m still shell-shocked,” Orla said.
While the Rose title has yet to sink in with the NUIG student she said she is looking forward to representing the county in the year ahead. “I can’t wait to see what’s involved and to see where it takes me,” she said, adding thanks to the Rose committee for all their help and advice so far.
The celebrations continued into the weekend not only for Orla and her family but also for Sean Colgan, who was chosen on the night as the escort of the year.