Meet the 2012 New York Rose of Tralee Contestants - PHOTOS


The selection for the New York representative for this year’s International Rose of Tralee Festival in August is set for this Sunday April 22nd at Empire Casino in Yonkers, New York. Each of the young Irish and Irish-American women competing this year for a shot to be the New York Rose are extremely accomplished and dedicated to the advancement of the Irish in America.

Below, get to know this year’s contestants. Do you have a favorite already for Sunday’s selection? Make sure you come by Empire Casino to cheer the girls on and enjoy an evening of celebrations and music. Check out the New York Rose of Tralee’s Facebook page and find out about ticket information is here.

Sharon Margaret Brady1. Sharon Margaret Brady

Sponsored by the County Leitrim Society of New York, Sharon is a native of the Bronx New York, has grown up with a strong connection to County Leitrim. Both of her parents, her brother and herself are involved with the Co Leitrim Society. Sharon’s father Frank has been involved with NY Gaelic Football, managing the Leitrim team and both the men’s and women’s NY teams as well as providing coverage for The Irish Echo.

Sharon will be receiving a Master’s of Science from Dominican College this May, with a
dual certificate in childhood education and students with disabilities. Sharon serves as
a scholarship chairperson for the County Leitrim society, and serves as a delegate to the
United Irish Counties in New York.

Crowned Miss Irish American Society Mineola in 2011, Sharon enjoys travel, reading,
American Sign Language, and volunteering with children and those with special needs.
Sharon has been traveling to Lourdes every Easter since 2010, as part of the American
Special Children Pilgrimage Group. This NY Rose candidate  hopes to continue her service to those in need in pursuing either a second Masters in deaf studies or a Phd in Special Education.

Gráinne Niamh Conroy2. Gráinne Niamh Conroy

Sponsored by Lily O’Brien’s Chocolate Cafe, Gráinne is a Dublin native born to parents from Galway and Wexford. Grainne graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a Bachelor’s degree in Business studies and was awarded a gold medal by President Mary McAleese for her work in the Inaugural Undergraduate Awards of Ireland.

Now in New York for two years, Grainne works for Enterprise Ireland. There, she assists the growth of Irish companies in the US market. Last fall, Gráinne project managed the Irish Enterprise Minister’s Trade Mission to the Southern States of Georgia, North Carolina and Florida. Gráinne is also heavily involved in the Education in Ireland initiative, promoting educational opportunities in Ireland to US students.

Gráinne is passionate about connecting with people and understanding life from different
points of view. For many years, she worked with the St. Vincent de Paul Society’s My
World Children’s Youth Group in Dublin and she is a committee member of the Trinity
College Alumni Association in NY.


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Ashley Marie Gilnack3. Ashley Marie Gilnack

Sponsored by Mahoney’s Irish Pub and Steakhouse, Ashley is the daughter of Cork native Marie O’Neill Gilnack and the late Robert Gilnack. Ashley is a substitute teacher in the Hyde Park School District, and also works as a records clerk in the Hudson Valley Heart Center.

Passionate about Irish dancing, Ashley competes and helps teach at the Farrell School of Irish Dance and regularly volunteers at Irish festivals and fundraisers. Ashley hopes to attain her TCRG in the future and run her own dance school. Merging her love of Irish dance and education, Ashley created an Irish dance program for 4-15 year olds in Newburgh, NY.