BRITAIN’S four Roses missed out on being crowned this year’s Rose of Tralee, after Philadelphia Rose, Maria Walsh, beat off the competition to claim the winning spot.
The 27-year-old Boston native currently lives in Philadelphia after originally moving with her family from Co Mayo 20 years ago.
The Journalism graduate took part in an emotional interview with host Dáithí O’Sé, when she remembered her cousin Teresa Molloy (19), one of four women killed in a crash on the N17 near Milltown, Co Galway in November 2009.
“It’s moments like this, like being in the Rose of Tralee, that make you really seize the day and appreciate life and take everything as it comes,” she said on being named the 56th Rose of Tralee.
Whilst she added that she was "absolutely shocked" by the result, Maria had been the bookies favourite last night with Paddy Power offering odds of just 2/5 for her to take victory.
Nottingham Rose Claire Regan took to the stage in last night’s show, along with the 13 remaining women who were interviewed by Dáithí in the live selection.
The 27-year-old, whose mother and aunt have both previously been Roses themselves, was the final representative from Britain to compete for the highly sought after crown.
Mairéad Hussey (Manchester), Michelle Kelly (Scotland) and Aoife Broderick (Derby) each had their moment on stage on Monday evening for the first live selection, and were on hand to watch Dáithí take part in the ‘ice bucket challenge.’
Manchester Rose Mairéad showcased her tin whistle skills, whilst Co Tyrone native, Michelle, paid tribute to Scotland, her current home, by singing Caledonia.