Hazel is selected as Limerick's Rose of Tralee for 2018

Hazel Ni Chathasaigh from the Roxboro Road, who was selected at an ‘electric’ event in Thomond Park on Saturday night

Hazel Ni Chathasaigh from the Roxboro Road, who was selected at an ‘electric’ event in Thomond Park on Saturday night

LIMERICK’S new Rose of Tralee is 23-year-old physio Hazel Ni Chathasaigh from the Roxboro Road, who was selected at an ‘electric’ event in Thomond Park on Saturday night.

The University of Limerick graduate, who works at University Hospital Limerick and went to school in Gaelcholaiste Luimnigh, will go forward to the International Festival in Tralee in August in search of glory, having assumed the mantle from Kilcornan’s Kayleigh Maher, the first Limerick Rose for a decade to feature on RTE’s live shows last year

Proud Gaeilgeoir Hazel said she was an avid rugby supporter and tag rugby player who has her own published research in sports physiotherapy. With a background in competitive indoor and outdoor swimming, Hazel has represented the University of Limerick at both intervarsities and the Irish Open Championship.

She told the selection event that she enjoys the buzz of the Milk Market on a Saturday morning and the atmosphere at Thomond Park on match-days in her native city.

Conor Walsh, coordinator of the Limerick Rose Centre, said: “The atmosphere at the Thomond Park Stadium was electric. We are absolutely thrilled with the success of this year’s event. All the Rose entrants were of extremely high calibre and Hazel will make a superb ambassador for Limerick as the 2018 Limerick Rose.”

Limerick Rose judges, Adam Craughan, 2010 Rose of Tralee international Escort, Sarah Conlon, 2013 Laois Rose and Brid Richardson, 2010 Limerick Rose, assessed each entrant through individual and group interviews, as well as their stage interviews at the Thomond Park selection event.

MCs Ollie Turner and Valerie Wheeler entertained the crowd with their signature style of serious interviewing and hilarious anecdotes as they watched the Roses take to the stage for various types of songs and performances.

A raffle was held with all proceeds going to Pieta House, charity partner of the 2018 Limerick Rose Selection.

Local businesses sponsored each entrant with Matthew Stephens sponsoring Hazel.