1994 Southern California Rose of Tralee - Katherine Geary Fitzpatrick
“we came to believe in ourselves and being Irish like never before.”
It’s identity-shaping! We were raised on parades and fairs, music and dance, rashers and puddings, hurling and football - but we never really knew what it meant to be Irish. Then we became a Rose. Strutting our poise, presence and personality, we took new meaning from being Irish, and even greater meaning from being women. We were the same as so many Roses - intelligent, successful, embodying beauty from the inside out – and yet completely unique in ourselves. And we came to believe in ourselves and being Irish like never before. We went on to complete an inner circle, those who have experienced Tralee, hungry to tell our tales. But the outer circle – family and friends, commentators and critics – were never going to hear us. They could never comprehend the magnitude of the thing called Festival; the women called Rose. And yet it’s really quite simple. We are Roses – a prestigious circle of Irish women who know exactly who we are, what we’ve done, and what we’re capable of doing. And so we still laugh and cry, drink and sing, live as if there is no tomorrow, and know that because of Tralee and who we became out there, our lives have never been the same. We went out there as Irish women, but we came back knowing exactly what that meant, and who we are in light of it.