At the end of August, eight American contestants competed in the famous International Rose of Tralee pageant in Ireland. The eight American girls traveled to Ireland in order to represent their various cities and areas of the country and to compete for the coveted title of Rose of Tralee.
Over 200,000 head to Tralee each year to witness traditional Irish song, dance, music, food and, of course, the selection of the Rose. The American girls, pictured left to right above, who competed were Kate Riley for Washington, D.C.; Ashley Stanbury for Southern California; Molly Kealy for Texas; Katie Watts for San Francisco; Ellen Pyzik for Boston and New England; Caitlin Burke for New York; Karen Boyce for Philadelphia; and Jenna Burke for New Orleans.
Here in New York, The Irish Voice (sister publication to Irish America) hosted the New York Rose competition, earlier in July, providing Caitlin Burke of New York with an all expense paid trip to Ireland.
Even though there was a strong showing of American girls competing for the title, an Irish native became the 2005 Rose: 22-year-old Aoibhínn Ní Shúilleabháin became the first County Mayo Rose to be named Rose of Tralee ♦