High hopes for Tanya to bring back the Rose of Tralee title

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A SCHOOLTEACHER beat off stiff competition from 22 other contestants last month to be crowned the Dublin Rose, and will be representing the region at the Rose of Tralee International Festival next month with hopes of winning the Rose of Tralee title.

Kilnamanagh woman Tanya Feighery (26), who will begin teaching in Kingswood Community College this September, has previously lived and worked in Abu Dhabi, and she wowed the judges with her outgoing personality and her performance of the song Riptide while playing the ukulele.

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Dublin Rose Tanya Feighery with her parents Elizabeth and Martin

Explaining what prompted her to enter the contest, Tanya said: “A little encouragement from family and friends, and in particular from the Abu Dhabi Rose whilst I lived abroad, and having won the Rose of St Paul’s Secondary School in Greenhills when I was a pupil.

“I thought to myself, ‘Why not try out for the real thing once I move home?”

The Dublin Rose Final was held in the Talbot Hotel Stillorgan on Saturday, June 30, where the 23 contestants had to impress judges Arlene O’Neill, the 2012 Dublin Rose, Colleen Gallagher, the 2007 Philadelphia Rose, and John Richardson, who was an escort in 2015.

The reigning Dublin Rose Maria Coughlan passed the baton to Tanya when it was announced that she had won the Dublin Rose title.

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“I thought at one point I was going to faint,” Tanya said of the moment her name was called out, “either that or wake up, as it felt like a dream come true!

“I am embarrassed to admit that I was afraid to go to sleep that night in case I woke up and it wasn’t the real deal.

Burst with the excitement

“I kept checking the sash was hanging up in my wardrobe just to be sure and once I came back down to earth after the initial shock I thought I was going to burst with the excitement.”

It’s been 15 years since a Dublin Rose last became the Rose of Tralee, and there are high hopes that Tanya, who said her biggest passion is dancing, will bring the Rose of Tralee title back to the capital.

“I am ecstatic to be heading down to the Rose of Tralee Festival in August,” Tanya told The Echo.

“As I have already made so many wonderful friends for life throughout the Dublin selection process, I am really looking forward to meeting all of the other Roses.

“It’s been an incredible past few days and I have been completely blown away with all the support from family, friends, neighbours and the extended community.”

The Rose of Tralee International Festival will take place from August 17 to August 21 in The Dome in Tralee, Co Kerry.

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