A BRAVE Rose of Tralee contestant has won widespread praise after discussing her parents' heroin addiction live on stage last night.
Carlow Rose Shauna Ray Lacey told host Dáithí Ó Sé that she wasn't given "the best hand of cards" in life.
The 24-year-old, who is the first mother to make it to the live finals, spoke openly about finding out she was pregnant at the age of 21 and how she lost her father to drugs.
— RTE One (@RTEOne) August 20, 2018
"The moment I told her I was pregnant with Emmy…she said ‘I wasn’t in your life but I will be in Emmy’s life’", Ms Lacey said.
Ms Lacey, mum to three-year-old Emmy, also told Dáithí about how kind and hard-working her late father was, despite his addiction.
She dedicated a performance of Aslan's 'Crazy World' to him as her mother, a recovering addict, sat in the audience to support her.
Many on social media were quick to praise the young woman for her honest interview and performance...
Loving the #Carlow Rose...a hard working relatable mother; a modern representation of Irish women and she can sing beautifully. One of the most relevant Roses in years. Break the mould. My winner. #RoseOfTralee
— Deric Ó hArtagáinTV (@deric_hartigan) August 20, 2018
Blow it up now ref. Carlow rose. Outstanding 👏👏 #Roseoftralee
— Rory's Stories (@RorysStories) August 20, 2018
— Lauren Ray (@honeybelau) August 20, 2018
The Carlow Rose was such a breath of fresh air. Open, frank, funny, real. Exactly the type of woman I want to hear from. #RoseofTralee
— ⭐ amy o'connor ⭐ (@amyohconnor) August 20, 2018
Seeing Shauna up there talking about being a young mother and having her life touched by addiction, she is an absolute credit to have as the Carlow Rose. This is modern Ireland and I think she is the kind of rose needed in this competition to modernise it! #Roseoftralee
— Ciara Byrne (@CiaraByrne7) August 20, 2018
— Maggie McEldowney (@2016RoseMaggie) August 20, 2018
— Lollipop Jones (@fussmuch) August 20, 2018
— Lorraine (@lorrainedonne10) August 20, 2018
To use the Rose of Tralee stage to raise awareness of the widespread issue of addiction faced in so many homes around the country takes great courage & strength. Shauna Ray Leacy is a true role model #RoseofTralee #carlowrose
— Amy O'Keeffe (@powera35) August 21, 2018