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It’s been a long 23 years since Monaghan was last represented in the Dome at the Rose of Tralee International Festival. Back then it was the late Sinead Murphy of Emyvale, but the county has high hopes of Clontibret native Eleanor Mc Quaid going all the way to Tralee this August.
Eleanor was selected at the Glencarn Hotel in Castleblayney last Saturday night and is now on her way to the regional selection in Portlaoise this June bank holiday weekend compete against neighbouring counties and claim her place on the Rose tour in August. The 2013 Monaghan rose said of winning the crown that she was “My initial reaction was one of complete shock, disbelief and elation! Given the beautiful and talented group of young women who entered this year’s competition, I found it very difficult to believe that I had won! I immediately got that sudden feeling where your heart is beating so fast it’s going to burst through your chest! Soon I was searching for my family and friends, who have been a huge support for me through everything. Luckily I didn’t have to look far as they were straight up to lay on the hugs and kisses! Cameras were in full flow, and all the girls were there beside me through a very daunting experience! Now that the dust has settled (so to speak!), I feel truly humbled, honoured and so excited to be this year’s representative for the aspiring young women of Monaghan. On a more personal level I am privileged to represent my local community of Clontibret and would like to sincerely thank Gormley uPVC Systems for their generous sponsorship. I also wish to thank Monaghan Rose Centre for their wonderful support and guidance thus far, and to the hugely talented young women who entered this year’s competition and made it an experience of a life-time! To those who are considering entering next year – go for it!” Eleanor, a 24 year old physiotherapist in Beaumount Hospital, Dublin is from Coolartra, Clontibret and is the eldest daughter of John and Mary Mc Quaid. Eleanor is a keen camogie player and has had the honour of captaining the Irish Shinty/Camogie team in their test series against Scotland in 2007. Ms. Mc Quaid and the twelve other girls who were vying for the title of Monaghan Rose were put through their paces in a series of one on one interview with the three judges representing the Rose of Tralee Festival, on Saturday morning followed by group interviews where the girls were asked to talk about a range of current topical issues. Finally on that night MC Connor Phillips from Cool Fm radio interviewed the contenders on stage. The crowd was entertained throughout by the exceptional young Monaghan women. The Clontibret lass impressed throughout and claimed the coveted sash and tiara from last year’s Monaghan Rose, Caoimhe Flanagan. Speaking of her experience during the Monaghan selection Eleanor said, ”I have definitely enjoyed the experience so far! With thanks to Eoin Treanor, Nicola Hackett, and our beautiful former Rose Caoimhe Flanagan, we were fortunate to enjoy a fabulous tour of Monaghan, and since that day I knew that I had made the right decision, regardless of the result. While on the tour I realised just how special Monaghan is, and it is something I feel every young woman should experience. We have a hugely rich history, which was passionately described to use by talented Curator of Monaghan Museum, Liam Bradley. We also have fantastic entrepreneurs in Monaghan, and I wish to thank David Smyth and colleagues at Rally School Ireland, who gave us such a fun experience on the track! Being a part of Monaghan Rose 2013 has reinforced my immense pride and love for the county and its people. The huge number of kind messages and phone-calls from family, friends and the wider Rose community, at home and abroad, has truly overwhelmed me and touched my heart, I only hope I can fill this role to the quality it deserves! I look forward to Regionals in Portlaoise at the beginning of June, and intend to embrace my role as Monaghan Rose for 2013.” Eleanor takes to the stage alongside Daithi O’Se and the other Roses throughout the world on Friday, May 30th in the Heritage Hotel, Portlaoise and we certainly hope this will be the year Monaghan goes all the way to the Dome and perhaps even further.