Tuesday 21 May 2019

Celebrity Diary: Charmaine Kenny

I had an hour's sleep after they made me Rose of Tralee -- I'm such a party pooper

I still can't believe that I'm going to be the Rose of Tralee for the next year. It's finally starting to sink in and I'm getting really excited about the year ahead.

It's been the most amazing two weeks ever and the fun is only beginning.

When my name was called out in the Dome on Wednesday, I went into shock. I couldn't even think or talk, I couldn't construct a sentence at all. Poor Aoife Kelly, the Rose of Tralee from last year, was trying to calm my nerves and give me advice on how to handle it all but I could barely take any of it in.

I got so many text messages on the night that I can't even keep track of what the final count was. I'd say there was at least 50 and it was the same with my dad, Leon and mum, Marian.

They've all been having the time of their lives in Tralee, I have to say it will certainly be a 50th anniversary to remember for years to come and I'm so lucky to be able to say I was the Rose crowned on the Jubilee Anniversary.

Everyone was having a laugh over the clips they showed of me as a weather-woman during my interview with Ray D'Arcy. Most people thought it was a bit random, which in fairness it was.


It's funny because I had hardly shown the footage to anyone before this and now the whole nation has seen it, but ah well, it's just a bit of fun.

I definitely won't be going back to Met Eireann to take over from any of the weather reporters, that's for sure.

I'll leave that to the chairman of the judges, Daithi O'Se!

I didn't get to spend too much time with any of the supporters from London and at home when I was crowned, but I had some free time yesterday afternoon after the Slan Abhaile brunch in the Fels Point Hotel, so we celebrated properly then.

The tiredness was definitely starting to kick in by then because I only got an hour's sleep on Wednesday night. The party went on until the next morning.

Although I'm embarrassed to admit it, Alice O'Sullivan, the first Rose of Tralee, stayed up all night and then went for a 3km walk that morning, so I felt like a bit of a party pooper when I told people I went to bed for an hour.

I finished up my job recently as a management consultant, so I've one foot in London and one foot in Ireland. I don't know where I'm going to be from here on in. I was supposed to be doing some contract work next week in London but now that has all changed.

I think it will be tomorrow before I get to go back to my hometown of Athy in County Kildare to show off the crown. No doubt there will be plenty more celebrations there as well. I'm going to miss all the girls an awful lot, though. We've had a ball and travelled the whole country, been in parades, the whole lot. They're like a second family to me now, we know everything about each other.

There were six girls in my group interview and we learned a lot about each other as we discussed everything the judges asked us. The first topic of conversation was a very philosophical one, "Can money buy love?" The answer that came from all six of us on that one was a definite No.


Another one was "Should marijuana be legalised?" and we just kind of discussed the pros and cons.

In the individual ones, they discussed what being the Rose of Tralee would mean to me and what my future career ambitions were and what my plans are for my life. It was really informal, like sitting around having a coffee with a few friends.

I don't think anyone really knew who would win, the girls are all amazing, we didn't have a clue and to be honest it was more of a lucky dip than anything.

Any one of them could have been given that crown. It's definitely the charity stuff that I want to get my teeth stuck into most in the coming year, I need to sit down with the committee and work it all out. I've done some fundraising in the past and I can't wait to get started.

I'm also pretty excited about all the travelling, I'm happy to go wherever I'm invited. Aoife Kelly seems to have had a great time, so I'm looking forward to sitting down with her and hearing all about what's ahead of me -- although I don't know how I'm going to fare with the whole hair, make-up and clothes thing for the rest of year because the girls were really helpful during the festival.

We all helped one another and we discovered these great hair clips you can use to cheat a little but to give your hair an extra bit of volume.

I'm sure I'll get the hang of it, my mum's a beauty therapist so hopefully she'll be able to give me a few tips!

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