Sydney Rose has Kildare links

The Sydney Rose of Tralee 2011 contestant may have bloomed far from her native land, but she has strong Lilywhite connections.

The Sydney Rose of Tralee 2011 contestant may have bloomed far from her native land, but she has strong Lilywhite connections.

27-year-old Caroline Harney, who will be onstage in the Tralee Dome in three weeks time, is the first cousin of Kildare football star Dermot Earley.

Caroline’s mother Denise was the sister of former Kildare manager and Newbridge resident Lt Gen Dermot Earley Sr, the former Defence Forces chief of staff, who passed away last year. Caroline is hoping to be the first Sydney Rose to claim the coveted Rose of Tralee title

The primary school teacher is lso an Irish dancer, and performed at the Sydney Opera House and at the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Caroline’s uncle Paul Earley was one of the first Gaelic players to be recruited to the Australian Football league.

Her mum Denise, from Roscommon, and father Joe, from Galway, emigrated to Sydney in 1973.