Melbourne Rose’s roots are firmly planted in Limerick village

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

Email:

donal.oregan@limerickleader.ie

Melbourne Rose’s roots are firmly planted in Limerick village

Jordan Balfry, from Caherconlish, who works in a maximum security men’s prison, is the Melbourne Rose

COUNTY Limerick has three chances of winning the Rose of Tralee title in August.

Jordan Balfry, from Caherconlish, who works in a maximum security men’s prison, is the Melbourne Rose. She will join Limerick Rose Dr Sinead Flanagan and New York Rose Elena Evangelou, a daughter of a Pallaskenry woman, in the Dome.

Jordan is the daughter of proud parents Frank and Caroline from Boskill. The 27-year-old moved to Australia in January 2018 with her partner John Cannon.

Jordan has a BA in Psychology and Sociology, a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, both from University of Limerick, and is currently studying for her third degree - a Master of Science in Food, Health and Nutrition - through UCD.

“I work as a forensic occupational therapist as part of the acute psychiatric team in a maximum security men’s prison in Melbourne,” said Jordan.

Understandably, she can’t say too much about her position or the criminals she meets on a day-to-day basis. In her very little spare time, Jordan has taken up Aussie Rules and entered the Melbourne Rose selection ball.

“I have always loved the festival and grew up watching it. My late grandmother on my father’s side Mary Balfry was a huge fan and I’m sure she would have been delighted to see me represent somewhere as far away as Melbourne!

“The opportunity to enter arose last year when I attended the 2018 selection ball to support a friend in Melbourne. After that I knew it was going to be a goal of 2019 to enter. I moved to Australia to embark on an adventure, and this has been the icing on the cake to date for sure,” said Jordan, whose mum, Caroline is an SNA in Le Chéile National School in Galvone. Dad, Frank is a self-employed electrician. Older brother, David is a secondary school teacher in John the Baptist Community School in Hospital.

Jordan says she has been extremely fortunate to have been presented with fantastic experiences throughout her life such as volunteering in Ghana for six months and travelling to Italy to teach in summer camps. And the famous Dome will be the next one.

“These experiences have been hugely character building and assisted in moulding me into the woman I am today – along with the endless support of my family of course.

“Limerick is fortunate to have their own Rose entrant this year in the wonderful Sinead Flanagan. I will be delighted to have a fellow Treaty county woman by my side on the road to Tralee. Home is always home, and I look forward to returning to Caherconlish in August and reconnecting with my friends and family, while sharing stories of my time in Australia. I’ll try my best to bring the weather with me!” said Jordan from sunny Melbourne.

She is coy about what her party piece will be on stage.

“Unfortunately my talents cannot be condensed down to a stage based performance – unless kicking an Aussie footy or tackling Dáithí Ó Sé is feasible! For my safety and the safety of others I will choose to sit back and enjoy the talents of my fantastic Rose counterparts,” she smiles.

Jordan says she will always be a proud Caherconlish woman but she is beyond excited to be returning home to represent Melbourne, a city that has welcomed her with open arms.

“I am forever grateful for the experiences moving here has given and continues to give me – such as new sporting opportunities, my wonderful Melbourne family, a challenging yet rewarding vocation and the many laughs I have had over a good coffee.”

More laughs await Jordan in the Rose of Tralee.