North Wexford’s Link to the Sydney Rose of Tralee
As preparations continue for the Wexford Rose Tour with the 33 Roses coming to the Model County for the second year in a row, we are delighted to see two Roses with a Wexford connection represent the model county in Tralee this year.
Bronagh Hogan is the 2023 Wexford Rose is doing a stellar job, and this year’s Sydney Rose, Aoife Butler hails from North Wexford. Aoife has links to Carnew and the village of Askmore but feels strong links to both sides and confirmed laughingly that she is a Wexford woman out and out being from Ballyellis Askamore.
We caught up with Aoife just before she returned home to her new home of Sydney for a short stay of three weeks before making the journey back to Ireland in early August to begin her duties as part of the Rose of Tralee events.
Aoife has been based in Sydney for four years, having followed her brother Matthew down under and has made this vibrant city her home. Sadly, her brother Matthew passed away in Australia but Aoife has said one of the proudest elements of being the Sydney Rose is that she is representing the city that Matthew had made his home before he died is a fitting tribute to her dear brother.
Aoife believes that while life may present many challenges through hard times can come good times and the opportunity to enter the Rose of Tralee and to share the journey and experience with her family and friends in both Ireland and Australia was one she knew she would enjoy!
Having completed her studies in Ireland Aoife moved to Australia and is now a permanent resident of Sydney and relishes her work as a Mental Health Clinical Nurse Educator in St Vincent’s Hospital in the city while also studying her Masters in mental health full time.
She has been enjoying a brief trip home to North Wexford to prepare for the Rose Tour and has found the experience “overwhelmingly incredible” and found it difficult to put into words the welcome she has received. The original trip to Europe was planned to coincide with her being bridesmaid at her friend’s wedding and then she found herself returning to Ireland as the Sydney Rose.
During her visit home in July, she has been welcomed by the local community groups and more including a visit to her primary school, a visit to her Nanny Aggie in Carnew Nursing Home and a reception in Askmore! She has been absolutely blown away by the warmth and the welcome and sees this as such a lovely opportunity to bring some happiness, saying it really is contagious from young and old there has been a wonderful response! Aoife also took time to thank some of the many wonderful businesses that have kindly supported Aoife on her Rose of Tralee journey already, noting some of our own local businesses in gorey such as Liz Collins boutique, Ruby rouge, Le Crème boutique, McGuire’s Jewellers, Lu&Mol, hickeys pharmacy, Skyfall and many more! Aoife says it’s great to see gorey thrive with so many fabulous restaurants, shops, coffee shops and looks forward to meeting everyone on the 11th of August!
Most of all she has enjoyed and is looking forward to sharing the experience with her family and friends. She also said one of the most notable pieces of advice she received from Joy Quigley of Ferns, the super 2022 Wexford Rose that she now had friends for life as part of the Rose community.
We look forward to welcoming Aoife, Bronagh, and the other Rose of Tralee finalists to Gorey on Friday 11th August from 5pm as they walk through Gorey town!
Join us for this great evening in Gorey!