SUZANNE O’Brien has vowed to represent Limerick with pride despite missing out on the final of the Rose of Tralee.
There was disappointment on Sunday night when the Adare Rose failed to make it through to August’s showpiece event following the regional heats in Portlaoise.
It is now five years since Limerick had an entrant in the Tralee Dome, as UL graduate Suzanne missed out.
Broadcast journalist Suzanne was up against Roses from Ireland, the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany and Britain, all of whom were hoping to win a place at the final.
Speaking to the Limerick Leader, Suzanne said that despite the setback, she remains upbeat.
“There were only a certain number of places. We were set such a high standard that I was prepared for it. But everything went so well otherwise. It was a great weekend, I made some amazing friends, and was really proud to have represented Limerick up on the stage,” she said.
UL graduate Suzanne, 24, who works with Live95FM radio, took to the stage with Daithi O Se mid-way through the third selection night at the Heritage Hotel in Portlaoise on Sunday.
Suzanne said she will not be hanging up her sash - and will continue to represent Limerick through the next year.
“I am going to be the Limerick Rose for the next year. This does not mean I am going to sit back: I am still going to continue. I think people sometimes have this impression that you sit back. I will keep working for Limerick,” she confirmed.
Proud Limerick girl Suzanne also paid tribute to the local public who have supported her.
“It is an honour to represent your city and county. It has been surreal really. I am really proud of Limerick. I have enjoyed every moment. I have been an ambassador for Limerick, and the people of Limerick have been unbelievable. They are so proud of the Rose of Tralee. I would not expect anything else from Limerick people though,” she said.
In spite of not qualifying, Suzanne will attend the Rose of Tralee final in Tralee between August 17 and 21 to support some of the new friends she has made.
“It would have been great for Limerick, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. It is a tough task, because there were only a few places,” she added.
Suzanne said Limerick should not be looking at withdrawing from the competition - despite not qualifying for five years.
She told the Limerick Leader: “This is the best thing I have ever done. I have no regrets. I could not recommend this more to young girls. It is a fantastic thing to be able to do.”