ON STAGE TONIGHT Newport’s Claire McManamon.
Expect some Mayo v Kerry banter when Southern California Rose Claire McManamon takes to the stage tonight
NEWPORT woman Claire McManamon may be representing Southern California at this year’s Rose of Tralee, but she will be proudly flying the Mayo flag when she takes to the stage of the Dome this evening.
The 24-year-old Rose will be among the final 14 who will take to the stage at 8pm to be interviewed by host Dáithí Ó Sé in a bid to become the 58th Rose of Tralee.
The Newport native moved to the States in 2015 and is enjoying life working on the Glanbia Graduate Programme, which she became part of after completing her studies in Accounting and Finance in DCU.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s appearance, Claire said there is a ‘huge gang’ from Mayo travelling to the Kingdom and that she is looking forward to the Mayo/Kerry banter with Dáithí Ó Sé.
“I’m very relaxed at the moment and looking forward to it. There is a huge gang coming down from Mayo … I’m not sure who is coming, but they all seem to be coming out of the woodwork! I’ve been inundated with messages of good luck.
“He [Dáithí Ó Sé] is a great host and it should be a bit of craic. There is already a bit of rivalry between us with Mayo and Kerry coming into the replay, so it should be a bit of craic on stage,” she said.
Claire has followed the Rose of Tralee from a young age and is thrilled with the chance to be a competitor in the world-famous pageant.
“They were the two biggest nights of the year in our house. I remember being kids with my sisters, sitting down with A4 sheets of paper getting ready for the Rose of Tralee, writing down what their dresses were like, how their tiaras were. I have always loved it and always wanted to be a rose” she told The Mayo News back in June, after she had been selected to represent Southern California.
Unfortunately, Mayo Rose Sandra Ganley did not make it into the final selection process, but the Hong Kong Rose Clarissa Langley Coleman, whose grandmother was from Mayo, is considered to be one of the favourites for the title.
The 25 year old’s grandmother, Mary Kenny, who sadly passed away a number of years ago, was a native of Welshpool, Belcarra, and resided there in her family home. Clarissa appeared on last night’s show and was considered one of the stand-out performers, especially after singing Danny Boy in Mandarin.