THE 2011 Limerick Rose will attend the Rose of Tralee Festival but instead of standing on stage, Orlaith Carroll will be sitting in the audience supporting the friends she made at the regional finals at the weekend.
The 24-year-old from Caherdavin graciously showered praise on the seven Irish Roses who were picked to go forward to the international festival in Kerry this August, and said she will be there to cheer them on.
It is the fourth year that Limerick will not be represented at the Rose of Tralee Festival after four Roses from each province and three ‘wild card’ Roses were picked out of the 28 Roses who took part in the regional finals held in Portlaoise at the weekend.
The event was tinged with disappointment for Orlaith’s supporters who were waiting anxiously to hear “Limerick” announced, and instead Roses representing Down, Laois, Roscommon, Tipperary, Derry, Donegal and Wexford were chosen on Monday night.
“It was disappointing but all the girls that were picked were fabulous girls, and it made me realise that it is hard being one of the Irish Roses because there are so little places, and it is so hard for the judges,” Orlaith told the Limerick Leader.
The graduate of the Limerick School of Art and Design enjoyed every minute of the five-day festival in Portlaoise, and described it as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. “It was an amazing experience. It is something that I could never have imagined – I never thought it would be so good. It is something I will never experience again. It was fantastic, and being with the other girls and seeing how amazing some people are from Ireland, and all the international Roses. They were brilliant fun and just embraced the whole thing so much, it was brilliant.”