Kildare Rose Megan set to bloom at Portlaoise semi-finals

Kildare Rose Megan O’Neill will find out whether she will compete in this year’s Rose of Tralee festival, as she takes part in the regional finals in Portlaoise over the bank holiday weekend.

Kildare Rose Megan O’Neill will find out whether she will compete in this year’s Rose of Tralee festival, as she takes part in the regional finals in Portlaoise over the bank holiday weekend.

Megan (22) described the atmosphere in Portlaoise as “fantastic” as Roses from all over Ireland and around the world gathered to learn if they will be among the lucky few to appear on the Kerry stage later this summer.

“It’s a very busy schedule over the next few days,” the Ballymore Eustace girl told the Leinster Leader on Friday. “Everyone has calmed each other’s nerves. We’re all chatting away, so there’s no nerves. I’ve met a few of the other girls before and I’m getting to know some of them here so it’s great.”

A busload of 30 of Megan’s friends and family will descend on Portlaoise to support her over the weekend.

When asked how she would feel if she got through, she replied: “I’m not thinking that far ahead but obviously it would be absolutely incredible.”

Seven Irish Roses and 16 international Roses will advance to the Rose of Tralee festival in August. Megan’s selection night is this Saturday and the Roses who go through will be announced on Sunday.

Megan was selected as Kildare Rose at the Kilashee House Hotel on Saturday 7 April.

A great lover of music, she will perform Eva Cassidy’s Fields of Gold in Portlaoise, as she did at the Kildare finals.

Having just finished a psychology degree in UCD, the young piano teacher would like to pursue a career in music. “Psychology was a great degree to do and it’s good to have but I do want to go and ‘live the dream’.”

But for now, the dream is to get through to the Rose of Tralee finals.

The Leinster Leader wishes Megan the best of luck over the weekend

- Liam Godinho