SHE has something of the “Maureen O’Hara factor”, according to the organisers of Limerick’s entry to this year’s Rose of Tralee festival.
She is 24 year-old Orlaith Carroll from Caherdavin - the 2011 Limerick Rose. And she was completely bowled over to have won the title on Saturday night in the South Court Hotel, competing against 15 other Rose hopefuls.
“I am absolutely shocked. I came in to this for a bit of fun. I’m absolutely delighted. It was such a good night. I was fourth up, and I was just so interested in the girls I didn’t even think about myself going up. It was all over so fast,” she said.
The organisers said Ms Carroll “has every quality and ticks very box to get to the Rose of Tralee”, and they’ll be hoping she can break Limerick’s unlucky streak in the festival. Limerick has failed to have a Rose in the Dome in Tralee for the past three years.
Ms Carroll is a fashion design graduate of Limerick School of Art and Design and was sponsored to be a Rose by the University of Limerick Arena, where she teaches swimming.
Proud parents Jim and Giolla were with her on the night, as well as brothers Eoin and Michael. However, she was also in a rush to speak to her sister who’s travelling in South America by phone, and her Granny, 84, who couldn’t make it on the night. She will now go forward to represent Limerick in the Regional Finals on the June Bank Holiday weekend.
Gerard McCarthy, a chemical engineer with Irish Cement, was chosen to be the Limerick Escort.