Thursday, August 10, 2017




Orange County woman off to Dublin for Rose of Tralee

Kirnan gets rousing sendoff

STEWART AIRPORT – Sinead Kirnan of Walden, who was chosen as the Tri-State area representative in the Rose of Tralee competition, was given a send-off party Wednesday evening at Stewart International Airport where she flew to Dublin to compete against 64 other women in the finals.

The Rose of Tralee competition began in 1959 and is based on the song “the Rose of Tralee” which is an Irish heritage song, to the tune of a Charles William Glover composition, about a wealthy Protestant man and poor Catholic woman falling in love, but becoming separated, only for the man to find out years later his love had died.

The competition seeks out fair, independent women of Irish descent looking to make a difference in the world. Those contestants then go on to do various public events that culminate with a three-week tour of Ireland to celebrate their heritage.

Kirnan, who is a veterans’ advocate and C-17 loadmaster for the New York Air National Guard at Stewart, won her spot against 18 others in April. She said this is the first time she had ever done something like this and after some persistence from her family, decided to give it a go.

“I kind of grew up watching the festival. It was more a culture, traditional, family event, so my family’s been pushing me to do this for years and years, and since the last show I was eligible because of my age," she said. "So, I went for it and here I am.”

Kirnan didn’t go to Ireland alone. She was accompanied by her “Rose Bud,” seven-year-old Madeline Doyle, who is visiting the country of her heritage for the first time. Doyle said she was excited to find out she was chosen to go with Kirnan.

“I was hoping I was getting picked with her and I didn’t know if I was going to get picked, but then I got picked and I was really happy,” she said.

Doyle will also have an Irish Rose Bud counterpoint joining them when they arrive in Ireland, an also seven-year-old Kate McGuillicaugh.

Kirnan and Doyle will spend the next few weeks touring Ireland. If Kirnan wins as the Rose of Tralee she will hold that title for the following year and participate in social obligations as well as be responsible for participation in international charitable and social efforts.


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