Video: Hail Mary, Our New Kerry Rose

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Mary Hickey just after being named Kerry Rose 2014. Photo by Dermot Crean

By Dermot Crean

RATHMORE has its first ever Kerry Rose as Mary Hickey was picked out of the bunch of 27 contestants on Friday night at Ballyroe Heights Hotel.

The 26 year old primary school teacher, representing the O’Donoghue Ring Hotel Group, was shocked and delighted when Daithi O Se made the announcement.

She spoke to minutes after the event about how she felt when her name was called out.

“I was waiting for about 26 other names. I thought there wasn’t a hope my name would be called out. I was in complete and utter shock, especially after being chosen from such an amazing group of women. I’m honoured, privileged and humbled,” said Mary.

So she has a busy few months ahead of her…

“I’m looking forward to representing Kerry. I’m going to follow in such fantastic footsteps of Roses like Gemma Kavanagh. There’s been a wonderful lineage set down already and I know there’ll be great support for me going forward,” said Mary.

Like all young girls, when Mary was growing up she wanted to be up there on the stage as the Kerry Rose.

“We used to watch it at home when we were growing up. We used all pick a Rose and whoever’s Rose won would win a prize. I know it’s a cliche, but I used to look at it and hope that I’d be there someday,” said Mary.


Mary Hickey with her mother Marian on stage after Mary won the Kerry Rose title. Photo by Dermot Crean

Mary has one brother Liam who couldn’t be there on the night but her mother Marian was there and joined her on the stage to congratulate her. Mary’s father passed away when she was eight.

“I’m sure he’s looking down proudly on me tonight,” she said.

Mary, who teaches in Millstreet, is a leader with the Social Action Group, and  volunteers with Barretstown Camp for children with serious illnesses.

From Sliabh Luachra, Mary has a keen interest in music, playing the concertina and is a member of the Marian Players Pantomime Group and the Glen Theatre.

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