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Offaly woman selected as 2018 Dubai Rose of Tralee

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Major fish kill in North Tipp river

Derek Fanning

From Shannon Harbour, Rebecca Egan has been selected as the Dubai Rose for the 2018 International Rose of Tralee Festival and has been "really enjoying" her Rose journey since she got her sash earlier this summer.
Having won after a glittering selection night, attended by reigning Rose of Tralee and fellow Offaly native, Jennifer Byrne, Rebecca is loving her Rose journey so far and has been busy doing some wonderful work giving back to her community since she got her Rose sash on May 4 last.
Rebecca grew up in Shannon Harbour and went to school in Banagher before heading to live in Limerick for six years where she herself said she "really came into her own". Studying media and gaeilge firstly in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, Rebecca, later went on to study to be a primary school teacher before moving to Dubai in 2016 after she decided she needed to travel and see the world a bit. "My first year was quite tough out there and having been in a British curriculum school, I then moved to an American curriculum school and I love it," she enthused.
Moving quickly on to talking about her decision to be apply to the Rose Centre in Dubai, Rebecca enthused she decided to do this because "it was something I was always curious about and always wanted to do. I was so happy to be afforded this opportunity. Even just to be a Rose entrant over here and to see how I could represent Dubai and then I was absolutely delighted on May 4 when I was crowned as the Dubai Rose. It was a great night and was very exciting."
According to the Shannon Harbour native, being a Rose has afforded her the opportunity to "knit within the community in Dubai. It's all very exciting. The whole Irish community have really pulled together. They have all rallied and to be part of this is absolutely wonderful and to be able to make connections with for example the Abu Dhabi Rose, is great."
Having worked with Special Olympics Ireland before in 2010 and and 2014 when she was living in Limerick, Rebecca recently met with the South Offaly Special Olympics club and is planning a fundraising table quiz for the club in McIntyre's pub, Shannon Harbour in August 3. More details on the event will follow. So, keep an eye out for it!
Talking about the sash, Rebecca admitted it's a "bit of a conversation starter", no matter where she goes. "Anywhere you can start a conversation, you can create awareness about the Rose festival, about Ireland and all that Ireland has to bring, is just a fantastic opportunity. I am also delighted to be going to Tralee next month," she enthused.
Rebecca will be straight back into all things Tralee related when she comes back from holidays and has already been busy organising outfits, events and many other exciting endeavours in a bid to get ahead before the "jam packed" international festival in August.
Asking her what it means to be the Dubai Rose, Rebecca is very proud of her current home. "Dubai is fabulous and everyone knows it for its glamour. But, it does get a bad rap about how hard you have to work and how intense it can be and perhaps, you can be taken for granted....but as a representative of Dubai, I now get to explain about it and all the good things about it. And, shine it in a more positive light."
Later she enthused that there's in fact " a real underbelly to Dubai" with lots of culture and she has met a lot of nationalities while she's has been there. "It's an absolute melting pot here in Dubai," she added.
Rebecca mentioned earlier before the interview started that she wanted to talk about how the Rose of Tralee empowers women. Commenting on this, the Dubai Rose said "some people watch it from a distance, nod their heads and roll their eyes and says leave them off and that's fine. But as a young woman, I feel it's giving me an opportunity and a platform to work for the festival, for the Special Olympics, to create awareness in Ireland about how wonderful Dubai is and to bring Ireland to Dubai in a new flavour. It think it's a fantastic opportunity to build on interpersonal skills, develop different networks for business and entertainment. It's a brilliant way to empower women to bring communities together and I felt that so much even when I was announced as Rose. It also provides opportunity for unity".
"I think there are those jokes about the Rose of Tralee being the 'lovely ladies' competition, which is fine and that's not going to change. None of my words are going to do that either." However, Rebecca pointed out that all the selected Roses are there because they have been "commended". "They get into the competition and are identified as Roses because they are successful women. They have a good human ethos, moral standing and have great interpersonal skills and they are well presented and in general are decent people. This is a celebration of decency."
Wrapping the piece up, Rebecca said her parents, John and Tess Egan and all her family are very excited and even joked her dad hasn't stopped singing "the pale moon is shining" since she was given her sash.
How fabulous would it be for Offaly to get another Rose of Tralee! "I would love it," Rebecca enthused. However, she is travelling to Tralee not just for that but also for all the exciting experiences she will see and do while there. She recalled when she was getting her sash as Dubai Rose, one of the Roses lent in and said to her "welcome to the Rose family". "I feel like I am after joining a big family and I am so excited to meet more of the Roses and the escorts in Tralee," she added. Concluding, the Dubai Rose said: "I am very humbled, honoured and delighted to have the sash already."

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