The National Final of the Rose of Tralee -
tickets, accommodation, schedule, contestants! Everything you need to know.
Meet the contestants, and see what they got up to in the past few National Finals.
If you're a young single woman of Irish birth OR descent, you could enter the Rose of Tralee
Ailbhe Ryan was born on 10 June 1985 in Dublin, Ireland.
Her father was originally from Tralee and her mother from Cavan. She has a Bachelor Arts honours degree majoring in history and politics and has a Masters in International Relations.
Ailbhe is a customer service consultant working at Cigna Life Insurance. With her current role she is doing a Certificate in Financial Services.
She does Irish dancing and loves to cook and bake. In 2007 she volunteered at a school in Haiti and has spent time in Israel and Palestine for her thesis in Arab/Israeli conflict. as a student.
Elizabeth Alexandra Sara was born on 3 December, 1986.
Her Irish connection is through her maternal grandmother, Dorothy Juliana Margaret McMillan, who was born in Kells, County Wicklow. where her father worked as a butler on the Rockfield estate.
Elizabeth is currently completing a Bachelor of Education, Primary teaching degree at Otago College of Education, with a view to doing post-graduate study in Educational Psychology and design. Income is earned through a part-time retail job.
She says her interests include tramping (she's trying to get through all the 'Great Walks'!), swimming, music (she sings in a church group, plays the harp, and is teaching herself the guitar), photography, sewing, making and fixing things, writing and watersports.
She was born in 1986 in Invercargill, and is currently working as a care and protection social worker at Child, Youth and Family, having graduated earlier in 2009 from the University of Canterbury.
Her Irish ancestry is on both sides of her family, her maternal grandfather having been born in Belfast and paternal great grandfather hailing from Galway Bay. Both men emigrated to Southland and married local girls.
Lisa enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, camping and the outdoors, dreaming of her future travel incorporating voluntary work in a third world country, maintaining her fitness and most of all the opportunity to share a laugh.
She was born on 13 October 1984 in Wellington.
Currently a student, Aislinn says she loves Irish dancing (both teaching and performing) and travel. After touring with Riverdance and living from a suitcase, she says she gets immense pleasure from making a cup of tea in her own kitchen! She also loves to read, write and enjoy Wellington’s cultural delights – film, theatre, and of course fresh coffee.
Aislinn’s father was born and raised in Cahir, Co Tipperary. His parents were both born in Co Tipperary – the Ryans from Cahir and the Longs from Thurles. Aislinn’s father emigrated to NZ in 1967.
Aged 27, Sarah is an Assistant Heritage Planner employed by the Christchurch City Council.
A football ("the beautiful game") fan, her interests include learning Gaelic, visiting Art Galleries and Museums, and music.
Sarah is keen to work in the area of heritage management, and hopes to spend a year overseas working for a not-for-profit organisation. In the meantime, she intends to complete her Masters degree, improve her sewing and do a basic car maintenance course. She is a fourth-generation New Zealander with heritage from counties Clare and Dublin.
Emma Kate Coffey was born in Lower Hutt on 13 August 1982. Emmaís father, Joe, comes from Carrigtwohill, County Cork, and her motherís father was born in Killarney, County Kerry.
Emma is a Cash and Banking Specialist working for an oil company. Her interests range from Irish dancing Ė both performing and teaching Ė to the violin to kick-boxing, traveling, touch rugby, and socialising with friends.
Esther was born on 2 May, 1981 in Manchester, England. Her maternal grandfather, Michael Kildunne, was born in a town called Aclare, Co Sligo. Members of the family still live on the land on which her grandfather was born. She has visited the area a number of times and met her relations.
She is currently a solicitor employed in a large legal firm. She says her principal interests are teaching and competing in traditional Irish dancing with the Kildunne School of Irish Dancing. Keeping fit, volunteering at the Community Law Centre, and spending time with her family and friends also occupy her time.
The 2003 New Zealand Rose of Tralee was Katherine Kelly, representing the Auckland Irish Society.
She was born in 1978, in New South Wales, but now lives in Auckland, and considers herself a New Zealander through and through. She is also very aware and proud of her Irish heritage. Her father came from County Leitrim and she has grandparents from County Roscommon and County Wicklow.
In 2002 the Hutt Valley Irish Society selected Vivien Lynch as its Rose. Vivien was born in Upper Hutt on 7 September, 1978. Her motherís family are from County Tipperary and County Cork, while her fatherís family are from Waterford and Wexford. Vivien is a Travel Consultant whose interests include travel, theatre, health and fitness, floristry, wine and food, and music.
She took the best wishes of the Hutt Valley Irish Society with her to the national finals in Hamiltonwhere she was selected as the 2002 Air New Zealand Rose of Tralee. Her prize included a trip to the International Festival and final in Tralee, Ireland.
You can read about her
“Winning the Rose title was a surprise - and a great honour!”