By Suzanne Pender
IN A SCENE that could rival Winning Streak, the banners were in full flow at the Woodford Dolmen Hotel last Friday for the exciting Carlow Rose 2023 selection night.
At the end of a terrific evening, the wonderful Caoimhe Deering was crowned Carlow Rose 2023 and will now set her sights on the International Rose of Tralee Festival in August.
Caoimhe’s sponsor was Munnelly’s shop, where she worked while a student at Maynooth College. She’s heavily involved in Rathvilly GAA and not only plays for the ladies team but is also the club’s PRO, looks after its social media and coaches the U12 girls team as well. Like her dad Brian, Caoimhe is also a qualified referee.
Caoimhe’s brother Paraic is a member of the Co Carlow senior panel, but was unable to attend Friday night’s final as he was in action with Carlow in the Tailteann Cup on the following day.
Caoimhe’s boyfriend is Éire Óg player Dean Hayden, son of Carlow legend Brendan, so given the Rathvilly/Éire Óg rivalry, Caoimhe laughs that at certain times of the year it’s best not to talk about GAA!
Caoimhe had huge support on the night, with both her nannies Claire Deering and Sheila O’Rourke, her aunt and godmother Olivia Dalton as well as lots of relations and friends in the audience. In fact, Caoimhe wasn’t the only family member to win on the night, with nanny Sheila scooping the prize for the best dressed with her glamorous look.
Caoimhe was also delighted to share the Carlow Rose experience with her cousin Kelly O’Rourke, who was one of the 18 contestants.
The atmosphere was incredible at the selection night, with the judges Clodagh Murray, Meath Rose 2008, John Marren, International Rose Escort, and Henry Healy, International Rose Escort, left with the difficult task of choosing a winner. Guest of honour for the final was the reigning Carlow Rose Shauna Ray Lacey, who has held the title for the past five years with tremendous grace and elegance.
Earlier in the evening, each entrant was interviewed by the judges, followed by group interviews. Included in the schedule, the Roses also had hair and make-up kindly sponsored by Louise Amond and Karen Dempsey from TRND, and Catalin from Leeno Hair Design.
MC for the evening was the legendary Ollie Turner from Galway FM, who entertained the audience all night long, putting the Roses at ease with hardly any nerves showing.
“There can be only one ambassador selected, but each Rose did themselves, their sponsors and their families proud on the night,” said Lyn Moloney, Carlow Rose co-ordinator.
“A huge thank you to all entrants for the commitment to all the Rose events they attended over the past weeks and also to the sponsors, who made it all possible. We are very fortunate here in Carlow to be blessed with such loyal sponsors and we would like to extend a sincere thank you to our wonderful hospitality sponsor Colin Duggan and the staff of the Woodford Dolmen Hotel for their continued support and friendship. Also, thank you to Louise Amond and Karen Dempsey from TRND, Catalin from Leeno Hair Design, Pat and Dympna Bramley, Faith Amond and The Nationalist for their kindness and ongoing support,” she added.