Life is rosy for Cork's Nicola
Genuine, sweet and never without a smile is how Rose of Tralee winner Nicola McEvoy was described after scooping the title on Tuesday night. Her sash may have read Luxembourg but she is still one of our own as Nicola grew up in Kerrypike.
Sinéad O'Donovan who works with Nicola in Luxembourg and was in the Dome to see her big win says no one was surprised when Nicola's name was called out.
"We knew she would be very hard to beat so we weren't a bit surprised. She is such a lovely girl and she is so down to earth and takes everything in her stride so she was the ideal candidate. When she won the Luxembourg final she went through to the semi-final which was in Portlaoise and when she got through that we booked our tickets straight away for the final."
Sinéad who is from Newcestown and is home for the summer, went to the festival with a group of teaching friends who all knew Nicola.
"She was totally overcame after she had won. After she had walked off stage and had seen her parents and her boyfriend she was quickly whisked off to the stage out in the town but we saw her later at the afterparty in the hotel which was great."
Nicola, who is 26, stole the heart of the judges with her warm and friendly approach which was personified throughout her interview with Kerry man Daithí O'Sé. Dressed in a beautiful red and nude lace gown which was made in Luxembourg and was perhaps a nod to her home county, Nicola rounded off her time on stage with a wonderful version of 'La Vie en Rose'.
An only child, Nicola is a secondary school teacher who moved to Luxembourg with her boyfriend of seven years, Eamon Dunne who is from the Blarney area. Nicola was a secondary school pupil at Mount Mercy College on Model Farm Road and she then studied history and geography in UCC, followed by a Masters in history and then a H Dip to complete her dream of becoming a teacher.
She now teaches history, geography and human sciences at the European School of Luxembourg. A clearly shocked Nicola gratefully accepted the Phillip Treacy-designed tiara and Rose of Tralee sash and embraced her parents who were cheering her on from the crowd. Nicola's other prizes include jewellery, personalised cutlery, a Hyandai car, a €25,000 tour of the world and an adventure break in Kerry. Nicola was presented with her prizes by fellow Corkonian and Munster and Irish rugby star Ronan O'Gara.
"It's a once in a lifetime experience for her," said Sinead. "I know a lot of people have opinions on the Rose of Tralee but the whole thing was fantastic, none of the girls stopped smiling from start to finish and everyone had a great time. She is going to be a busy woman for the year ahead but what other way would you want it?"
Fellow Cork woman and official representative for the county at the competition Bríd Ryan had to wait until third-last to get on stage. An employee at the Rubicon Centre, Bríd had been bookie's favourite to win the competition and was given even odds after her recital of a self-penned poem about her parents but it was not meant to be and Nicola came out on top beating 31 Roses from all around the world to take the now-infamous title of rose of Tralee.
Luxembourg Rose Nicola McEvoy