New York Rose of Tralee winner has strong Limerick roots

Newly-crowned Rose of Tralee Róisín Wiley. Photo: Domnick Walsh

NEW YORK Rose Róisín Wiley was crowned the 2023 winner of the Rose of Tralee in the Kingdom this week to much fanfare.

With both parents hailing from County Limerick, the victorious Rose has strong local connections.

Róisín’s mother Majella is from Templeglantine, while her father Eddie is from Kilmallock, before emigrating to New York when they were in their 20s.

The 27-year-old newly-crowned Rose of Tralee lives in Manhattan and is the Vice President of National Sales at consumer marketing company Neptune Retail Solutions.

Róisín says that she never forgot her Limerick heritage, and always cheers on the Limerick hurlers when they’re playing.

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Hailing from a hurling mad family, Róisín’s father Eddie is chairman of GAA Club Limerick New York.

Speaking after being crowned Rose of Tralee, Róisín said: “I’m speechless. I’m so thankful and I’m so excited to represent my class and I hope I do them all justice.”

“Growing up as an Irish-American in New York, I’m so proud to represent Ireland in New York and to stand as a formal figure, I’m so, so honoured,” she said.

Limerick was well-represented at this year’s festival, with Limerick Rose Molli-Ann O’Halloran wearing the sash for the Treaty County.

Limerick Rose Molli-Ann O’Halloran. Photo: Domnick Walsh.

Molli-Ann, a traditional singer at Bunratty Castle, is a strong advocate for people living with autism, as she herself is on the spectrum.

Speaking to the Limerick Post after the festival, Molli-Ann said she is “overwhelmed, but in the best way possible.”

“I didn’t really expect the view that people would have had on me, it’s really nice to see that I can make a difference and maybe that I can keep making a difference in the future,” the Limerick Rose said.

“I’m delighted for Róisín, she’s an absolute lady, so I’m happy for her,” Molli-Ann said of the New York Rose.

Viewers watching the Rose of Tralee on Monday night, when Molli-Ann graced the screens, branded the 19-year old Ennis Road woman as an “inspiration” and “a real role model”.

One viewer posted online that Molli-Ann is “brilliant, a real role model” and a “person of the Irish autistic community who is really inspiring, really amazing.”

“Finally positive autistic representation. I wasn’t diagnosed until last year aged 28, and always wanted someone I could relate to watching Rose of Tralee as a little girl,” another wrote.

Molli-Ann said being able to make a difference has made her feel fulfilled.

“I left Tralee last night and my heart was completely fulfilled, I’m so happy that I could make a difference to not just young girls but young boys, and even older adults with a late diagnosis, it’s just unreal,” she concluded.