The new Rose of Tralee Clare Kambamettu , the London Rose, will move back to Ireland after winning the title she has revealed. The half Indian/half Irish winner also hopes to represent ethnic minorities
"I thought Daithi (Daithi O'Shea the presenter) was messing when he called out my name. I thought 'he's got to be joking' -- but obviously he wasn't.
"Any of the 31 girls who I've spent the past ten days could equally have been in my shoes. It's just been a fantastic experience and I can't wait for the year ahead."
The 25-year-old London based psychologist from Kildare, who was born in Leeds in England, told the Evening Herald she never thought she'd win.
"I think it's fantastic that Ireland has become so multi-cultural and more and more diverse over the last ten years or so. I just can't believe I'm getting this opportunity," she said.
"I hope that I'll be able to represent not only the Indian community but different ethnic minorities throughout the world as well as I can.
"My dad's particularly delighted. He didn't grow up with it so it means so much to him." Her father is a doctor who moved to Ireland 20 years ago.
"He's in complete shock, he and my mum Breda both are. They're so excited that I'm going to be moving home, although I still need to hand in my notice," she laughed.
She said her predecessor, Charmaine Kenny also a London Rose was a great support.
"Charmaine has told me all about the fantastic things she has done and the things I can get involved in and I can't wait to sit down and have a proper chat with her," she added.
Meanwhile it has been revealed that over 1 million viewers saw the London Rose crowned the 52nd Rose of Tralee at 11:15pm on Tuesday essentially one in four people in the Irish Republic.