Rose of Tralee returns to Birmingham

The eight Roses taking part in the selection evening at the Irish Centre in Birmingham- Auriela Story, Alexandra Henry, Suzanna Naughton, Hannah Finnegan, Aoife Madden, Marie Kenny, Roisin Shanley and Rhona McGarvey

The eight Roses taking part in the selection evening at the Irish Centre in Birmingham-
Auriela Story, Alexandra Henry, Suzanna Naughton, Hannah Finnegan, Aoife Madden, Marie Kenny, Roisin Shanley and Rhona McGarvey

Over the years, Birmingham has always been recognised as one of the best Rose of Tralee centres in the world. At one stage most major towns and cities in the Midlands were part of the huge network of centres which sent girls to a gala ball which took place for many years at St John’s Hotel in Solihull.

Sadly, over the years the various centres disbanded and for a number for years the Rose event suffered a decline until it was revived by Maria Cleary and Teresa Melody who put huge amounts of time and effort into organising the event.

A recent lapse of events has now been rectified by Birmingham based Pat Murphy Wright who decided to orgainise the event at very short notice-and this entirely separate from her normal work load at the Irish in Birmingham organisation in Digbeth.

Eight girls took part at a gala night at the Irish Centre in Digbeth. The onstage interviews were conducted by Derryman Bob Brolly who over the years has interviewed Rose contestants at previous centres in the Midlands- and has the knack of putting the often nervous girls at ease on stage.

The moment Rhona McGarvey was declared winner as the 2014 Birmingham Rose of Tralee.

The moment Rhona McGarvey was declared winner as the 2014 Birmingham Rose of Tralee.

Sarah Murphy from The Irish Post, former Birmingham Rose Anna Mullins and award winning Irish dance champion Declan McHale were the three judges-tasked with selecting a winner on the night.

Over from Ireland to attend the newly revived Rose selection night was Steve Cronly, Commercial Manager from the Rose of Tralee International Festival in Kerry who was hugely impressed with the way the event had been organised at such short notice.

And so, the Birmingham Rose of Tralee selection evening is back on the map-thanks to Pat Murphy Wright and her huge band of supporters and sponsors.

Here are a selection of images from the night.