Megan O’Neill from Ballymore Eustace was chosen as the Kildare Rose in the Killashee House Hotel on Saturday night.
Megan (22) will now go forward to the finals in Portlaoise which will be held over the June Bank holiday weekend to battle for a spot at the festival in Tralee this August.
“I’m delighted,” said Megan whose parents are Hughie and Aine. “The girls that I met at the Kildare finals were all so lovely and could have done a great job. I sang Eva Cassidy’s Fields of Gold and played the piano. I have been playing since I was six and I would like a career in music.”
The UCD graduate, who has a degree in psychology, placed third in a major talent competition in Chicago, USA last summer called The “Big Break”. Megan is also member of the UCD Choir, which claimed top honours in the All-Ireland Choir Competition last year. A former runner-up in the Ballymore Festival Queen Pageant representing the Ladies GAA Club, Megan’s late grandfather, Johnny Murphy of Mountcashel, was a renowned tenor and her mother, Áine and aunt Gail are similarly gifted singers.
“Music has always been a big part of me,” she added. “I like writing my own songs and I teach piano. I loved studying psychology but I’d like to take my time with the music for now. I didn’t lick it off the ground it is definitely in the family. This is a brilliant time for me to go for the Rose of Tralee and I really hope to get through the next round.”