Life after Tralee is rosy
Cavan girl Annemarie Lynch, who represented New York at this year's Rose of Tralee Final, is planning for life after the prestigious international pageant competition, but says she'll never forget the incredible experiences she's just had.
Annemarie, who grew up in Gowna, but can trace her Irish roots back to her grandparents, was chosen from more than a dozen girls in New York earlier this year to represent the Empire state among the 31 other finalists in Tralee.
The former county footballer and Cavan's Got Talent runner-up now looks set to leave the glitz and glamour of her current position at Fifth Avenue's famous Tiffany's store to go back to college after she was accepted onto a Master's Degree course at DIT to study Entrepreneurship.
"I got accepted to a Master's programme in DIT studying Entrepreneurship so I have to decide whether will I stay in Ireland and do that, or go back to New York, but I think you might be seeing me in Dublin next year", she says.
Of her Rose of Tralee experience, when speaking to the Celt Annemarie was still sampling the post-Rose Festival atmosphere, "hanging out and relaxing" with fellow Roses, Philadelphia's Elizabeth Spellman and London's Nóra Ní Fhlannagáin, "a few people still recognise you but without the sash a lot less do".
Annemarie described last Tuesday night, when over a million people worldwide tuned-in to catch a glimpse of their Rose representatives.
"I was a little bit nervous, but more excited than anything else. You had been preparing for that moment the whole way through so to get there it was a sort of relief, even though at the back of your mind you knew you were standing in front of a couple of hundred people in the Festival Dome itself but also the thousands of people at home watching it.
"But I absolutely loved it, I loved being up on stage. Dathai (O'Shea) just puts you at ease the whole way. He's brilliant, he knows what to ask you and make the conversation flow, he's a good distraction for anyone who was nervous on the night."
As for looking back on the show itself, she laughs, "I'm never looking at that, I couldn't, I couldn't watch myself. But saying that I'm sure I'll have to at some stage. My sisters loved getting on the telly, they think they're famous, but it was a great night, my family really enjoyed themselves too and I hope I did everyone proud."