It’s hard to believe but this time 10 years ago Ballylinan girl Stephanie Farrell was crowned Laois Rose.
It was the fifth hosting of the popular event and Stephanie, who was the fifth Rose to be interviewed on stage by MC Brendan Hennessy and sponsored by A-Wear in Carlow where she was working at the time, was crowned the winner ahead of the other 16 contestants.
Speaking afterwards, Stephanie said she was “absolutely shocked”. “I know everyone has said it but it’s very true. Any of these girls could have won.
“All day I was just concentrating on getting through the day, I hadn’t thought about who was going to win at all.”
Philip Kehoe, chairman of the judging panel, said “each girl has done Laois, their sponsors and their families proud”.
“It was a really difficult job to pick one girl above others. We only had 15 minutes with each girl in the interviews and even the group interviews are only 15 minutes long.
“There was a few girls who stood out in the interviews and Stephanie was one of them.”
A wonderful singer, Stephanie performed a cover of Maura O’Connell’s SummerFly both during her interview on stage and after being crowned the winner.
She later went on to represent Laois at the Regional Finals in June of that year but wasn’t one of the lucky girls chosen to go forward to the Dome in Tralee in August.
Alf Harvey’s wonderful set of archive photos will no doubt bring memories flooding back to all those who took part.