Brendan O'Toole of Lullymore Heritage Park with New York Rose, Sinead Kirnan, whose mum Veronica hails from Naas. Photo: Tony Keane
Sinéad Kirnan, the New York Rose, has solid Naas connections, writes Paul O'Meara.
The 27-year-old is the grand daughter of Michael Kane, who worked as the producton manager at the Leinster Leader.
Mr Kane had a long career with the newspaper and the associated print works, which spanned over half a century before he retired.
Sinéad is 27 and grew up in the area of Walden, a small town with a population of about 7,000 and which is situated in Orange County, some 90 miles north of New York city.
Sinéad is the eldest daugher of Bill and Veronica and has two sisters, Ciara and Fiona.
Sinéad's mother Veronica left Naas for New York at the tender age of 21.
She was to meet Bill Kirnan, whom she married, and has lived in New York with Bill and her three daughters ever since.
Sinead's dad Bill hails from Brooklyn, New York, though he can trace his family back to Cavan and Sligo.
Sinead and her family have spent all their summer holidays in Naas.
She loves spending time with her grandparents Anna and Michael as well as the extended family in Naas.
She will sing the well known Kildare anthem The Old Bog Road, written by Teresa Brayton, about a disused road near Kilcock.
Sinéad recalls grandfather Michael singing the song on various family occasions over the years.
Sinéad is a graduate of the State University of New Yorkat New Paltz , where she studied biology and psychology but her true passon is aviation.
She is currently serving in the New York Air National Guard, the air force militiai for New York State and a reserve component of the United States Air Force.
She is pursuing her pilot's licence with the hope of flying wihth the USAF in the near future.
Sinéad has many relatives in the Naas area and the Kane family is well known, partly through their links with Naas GAA Club and many of whom have lined out for various club teams.
Sinéad's uncle Martin was a member of the last Naas team to win a Kildare senior football championship in 1990 and he also played at inter county level with Kildare in the under 21grade in Leinster competition.
Her cousin Brian Kane played for Naas just last weekend in the senior footbasl league final as the county town team lost out to Moorefiled, who claimed the Leinster Leader Cup.
The Rose of Tralee Internatoinal Festival is 58 years old this year.
It runs from August 16 until August 22.