Katie Anne Dunleavy, a budding research doctor, was this afternoon crowned the New York Rose at a tight contest in the Yonker’s Kerrymen pub.
The results were announced around 7pm this evening, after a contest involving 11 roses. This year the New Jersey rose has been subsumed into the New York contest, so only one rose – Katie – will go forward from both states to this year’s final contest in Kerry.
Speaking to IrishCentral.com after the result was announced, Katie said that she was “thrilled” to have won. “Now I get to go to Ireland, it’s gonna be great!” she says, while her mother says that “I’m very happy but I wish her dad was here, he just passed away this year but he’s rooting for her, We’re all very happy, she’s a lovely child. I’m over the moon and I can’t wait to go to Ireland again.”
Despite the fact that this year’s contest coincided with the World Cup final it was a packed house at Kerrymen pub, with drinks and conversation flowing in all corners of the room. The International Rose of Tralee competition is the most popular festival connecting the global Irish community, and has been running since 1959.
Ashling Colton, last year’s New York rose, has been up to her eyes engaging in functions throughout the past year representing the New York Center on the global stage. She’s just back from a trekk in Tanzania, Africa, with Volunteer Services Overseas. She finished her year as the New York rose by making an emotional speech and saying that all of the night’s contestants were worthy of bearing that title.
This year’s contestants came from differing backgrounds and brought many different skills to the competition, which was hosted by Niall O’Leary, the President of the Irish Business Organization. Some were Irish-born, others of Irish heritage. All shared a love of and commitment to their Irish heritage.
This year’s event will take place in Tralee, Co. Kerry this August.