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“I’m pinching myself”: Rachel Duffy reacts to being crowned Rose of Tralee

It’s been three years since we last crowned a Rose of Tralee. 33 gorgeous and accomplished ladies took to the stage in the hope to become the champion this year.

It was Rachel Duffy, the Westmeath Rose, who was announced as our 2022 Rose of Tralee.

The win is still sinking in for the 23-year-old winner.

“I’m pinching myself now wondering if it just happened,” she said after her win.

“I’m so grateful for this honour; it was such an honour to represent my community and my county and now to be the Rose of Tralee is just unbelievable.

“I never anticipated ending up here, I’m looking forward to the memories I’m going to make. If the last two weeks are anything to go on I know I’m going to make memories to last a lifetime,” she added.

Rachel is a recent graduate of NUIG where she studied Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and Spanish. She originally planned to return to college to complete her Masters and to become a Spanish and English teacher.

However, before that, she has a jam-packed year as the Rose of Tralee to get into.

The prize pack for the winning Rose includes world travel valued at €25,000, a week-long adventure break from Kerry County Council taking in all that the Kingdom has to offer, complimentary accommodation at the Meadowlands Hotel throughout the year, and the use of a KIA Niro Plug-in Hybrid EV courtesy of McElligott’s Tralee.

After 2019’s winner Limerick Rose Dr Sinéad Flanagan placed that crown on her head, Rachel told Dáithí Ó Sé: “We’ve had a great year in Westmeath this year between the Tailteann Cup, Fleadh Cheoil and now we have the Rose of Tralee.”

“I would have loved for my mam to have been here, but she has the best seat in the house tonight, and I just want to say to my family that I hope I have made you proud and I love you so much,” she said.

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