Donegal musician ‘delighted’ to be selected as London Rose for Tralee competition

Donegal musician ‘delighted’ to be selected as London Rose for Tralee competition

LONDON has selected its candidate for the 2023 Rose of Tralee competition.

Donegal native Amy Gillen has taken the title after impressing judges at a selection event held at the Clayton Hotel Chiswick.

The 27-year-old, who was born in Letterkenny to parents Aisling and Billy Gillen, was chosen from 16 hopefuls vying for the London Rose crown on May 26.

2022 London Rose Hayley Reynolds presents 2023 London Rose Amy Gillen with the London Sash (PIC: Sinead Dineen)

During the event, which drew a crowd of 200 people, Ms Gillen, who works as a freelance musician and teacher, wowed judges and the audience with a flute performance of the Phil Coulter classic The Town I Loved So Well.

She also shared stories from her musical career to date and her excitement at recording her first solo album - which is set to be released this year.

“I am in shock but utterly delighted to have been chosen as the 2023 London Rose,” Ms Gillen said following her selection.

“I’m ready to give it my all and I am deeply grateful for the wonderful opportunity,” she added.

“Thank you to the London Rose Centre for placing your faith in me.

“It is an honour and a privilege to be chosen to participate in one of Ireland's most iconic, internationally recognised festivals.”

London Rose 2023 Amy Gillen with fellow finalists at the Clayton Chiswick Hotel (PIC: Sinead Dineen)

Ms Gillen will represent London at the Rose of Tralee festival in Co. Kerry in August.

She will also represent the London Rose of Tralee centre for the next 12 months.

“I am hugely excited and looking forward to a year of building connections with all those associated with the London Rose Centre and the Rose of Tralee Festival,” Ms Gillen said.

“I am particularly looking forward to the Rose of Tralee Festival in August and to meeting and spending time with all the incredible ladies from all parts who will be participating in the festival.

“Tralee here we come.”

Ms Gillen, who was sponsored by Falcon Green, was presented her London Rose sash by outgoing 2022 Rose Hayley Reynolds.