DR Sinéad Flanagan has been crowned the 2019 Rose of Tralee and has become the third woman representing Limerick to take the coveted title.
RTÉ’s Dáithí Ó Sé announced the result in front of a huge domestic and global TV audience and the 2,000 people in the Festival Dome last night.
Sinéad (27) was presented with her Tipperary Crystal tiara by 2018 Rose of Tralee Kirsten Mate Maher, after Stephen Scanlan, the Financial Director of Tipperary Crystal, the lead sponsors of the Rose of Tralee International Festival, presented her with the coveted sash.
She was then whisked away to her third Festival parade of the week through the streets of Tralee where thousands of people turned out for the Midnight Madness fireworks display.
A “shocked and delighted” Sinéad, said it was difficult to sum up her reaction: “It has been such a fantastic experience, I obviously didn’t expect it given my reaction but [I’m] delighted and honoured to represent the festival. I think I was just amazed and it felt like a dream, all the girls came around me to show their support as they always have been doing and made sure I made it out to Dáithí, so I think that is what it is about – supporting each other.”
Sinéad Flanagan grew up in Mungret and now lives in Adare, Co. Limerick. She qualified as a Physiotherapist at University of Limerick before studying Medicine in University College Cork. Sinéad is currently working as a junior doctor in Cork.
The Rose of Tralee is an avid supporter of Limerick hurling in what has been a fantastic year of celebrations for the 2018 All-Ireland hurling and 2019 National League champions.
Sinéad, who was born soon after the 1991 Cork Rose Denise Murphy O’Sullivan was crowned the Rose of Tralee, will celebrate her 28th birthday tomorrow, Thursday 29th August.
Her Mum, Catherine Flanagan, said she waited for the result before going to the hospital: “She [Sinéad] was born on the 29th August 1991. I was watching the Rose of Tralee on the night of the 28th, signs of needing to go to the hospital appeared but I wanted to continue to watch it until the Cork Rose Denise Murphy won. Then we went off to the hospital after that and she was born a few hours later so it has a special meaning for Sinéad and I always felt I held a Rose in my hands.”
In 1984, Diane Hannagen was the first Limerick Rose to be crowned the Rose of Tralee, a decade later Muirne Hurley brought the title back to the Treaty County and now Sinéad Flanagan has completed the hat-trick for Limerick after a 25-year wait.
Roses from 32 communities in Ireland and around the world took part in the 60 Year Diamond Jubilee Rose of Tralee International Festival which began last Friday and featured three parades, two fireworks displays, 80 hours of FREE street entertainment, an 80s Night and Fashion Show. The Rose and Rose Escort application process is already underway online at www.roseoftralee.ie and on the Rose of Tralee App.