Co. Limerick stars align as RÓisín wins Rose of Tralee

The stars aligned for two areas of Co. Limerick this week as New York Rose Róisín Wiley became the 2023 International Rose of Tralee, writes John Barrett.
The 27-year-old, whose parents Eddie and Majella are both natives of Co. Limerick, lives in Manhattan and works in sales and marketing. She said that her win on Tuesday night left her speechless. “I’m so thankful, and I’m just so excited for the next year,” Róisín told the audience at the Kerry Sports Academy on the Munster Technological University campus. “On a night that celebrated family and community,” Róisín added, “taking part in the contest had been a big part of my life in helping me find strength and confidence after the pandemic.”
The Morning Ireland Interview
Speaking to Gavin Jennings of RTÉ’s Morning Ireland on Wednesday, Róisín Wiley said that she was shocked and emotional to hear her name read out and that it didn’t register for a minute or two.
When asked about the reaction amongst her fellow contestants and meeting her family afterwards, she said: “I haven’t really gotten to see the girls yet. I’ve seen them in passing. They have been just so unbelievably supportive. Every single one of them has said that they’re with me on this journey and we’re doing this together.
“So that’s really kind of brought me back down to earth. It can be a bit overwhelming, but seeing them and knowing they’re going to be by my side, this has been very comforting. My parents are just as shocked as I am.”
When asked why she won, Róisín was keen to include the other Roses: “What I think is important for me over the next year is that I’m representing these 31 other women,” she said. “I’ve got to know so much about the girls over the last two weeks and I’m going to spend the next year, hopefully, being a voice for them and the things that are important to all of us.”
The local connections
Róisín is a daughter of Kilmallock native Eddie Wiley and Majella (nee O’Reilly) from Temple-glantine in West Limerick. Speaking to the Vale Star back in June after she was selected as the New York Rose, Róisín said, “My dad is Eddie Wiley, son of the late John, and Eileen, who resides at the Beech Lodge Care Facility in Bruree.
“All my aunts, and an uncle on my dad’s side, live in Kilmallock, Carmel, Gillian, Declan and Meg. My mother is Majella O’Reilly from Templeglantine and she also has a connection with Kilmallock as her sister and my aunt, the late Pat Kelly and her husband, James, were proprietors of The Golden Spur for many years. Then, my aunt, Angela McCarthy, who was married to the late Cal, still lives in Kilmallock. I also have many other cousins in the area so the blood lines and connections with County Limerick are very strong.”
Róisín confirmed that this was her second time taking part in the selection process in New York and that she hadn’t gone into it with any great expectations.