The Galway Rose will be hoping to bloom this week as the annual Rose of Tralee Festival gets underway.
Flying the flag for Galway and vying for a spot in the live finals of the show next week is 23-year-old Castlegar native Niamh Elwood. A graduate of GMIT Mayo, where she was awarded an honours degree in General Nursing, Niamh has been working as a staff nurse in the Acute Medical Unit at University Hospital Galway since December 2015.
Should she get through to the live shows, Niamh will perform a ‘First Responses’ demonstration – with presenter Dáithí Ó Sé as the guinea pig.
“I think it’s going to be Dáithí that I’ll have to use to demonstrate what you would do if you found somebody collapsed on the street, where would you go,” she explained.
Asked what she hopes will make her stand out for the judges, Niamh replied, “It’s hard to say because everyone has different qualities. I suppose with my nursing and that like I’ve really built such relationships with people over the years and I hope that they can see that I can do that for them more and if I was to become the Rose of Tralee that I could carry on and make relationships across the world for Irish people so I think that would be my main thing.”
The competition kicked off in Tralee yesterday (Tuesday). The format for the competition this year will see all 64 Roses travel to Kerry this week and undergo individual interviews, with 32 chosen Roses advancing to the televised selections.
‘ONCE IN A LIFETIME’
Since being crowned the Galway Rose in May, Niamh said the last couple of months have been “amazing”.
“I can’t explain how much Galway people have backed me.”
She said she “can’t thank people enough” for the support they have shown her, adding that “being able to represent your county is a once in a lifetime opportunity”.
The 58th International Rose of Tralee will be broadcast live from the festival dome at 8pm on Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 August on RTÉ One, when it’s hoped Galway’s Niamh will be in the running for the title.