Emer, from Kilgowan, is the 2019 Kildare Rose. She will represent the Lilywhite county at the Rose of Tralee in August.
Emer went to primary school in Crookstown NS and secondary school in Cross & Passion College in Kilcullen. She has two older brothers, John and Padraig, Padraig is a former Kildare player. Emer has also played at inter-county level with Kildare.
FIRST KILDARE MEMORY?
As a member of a family who have always been heavily involved in the GAA, my first memory of growing up in Kildare of course is related to playing football out the back garden!
My auntie Siobhan Tallon started dating the legend Johnny Doyle when I was about 11 years old, and I remember on my communion day, the white dress was quickly replaced with a white Kildare jersey and out to the garden all my auntie, uncles and cousins went for a game of football, with no less than the famous Johnny Doyle featuring in midfield.
It’s one of my earliest memories, as most of my childhood was spent out playing football with my brothers, but I think Johnny Doyle being present made this particular match stand out among the others!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT KILDARE?
One of the things I love about Kildare is we are in such a great location. We are close to Dublin, Wicklow and even the West of Ireland is not too far away.
When I studied in NUI Galway, Kildare was only a two-hour drive to get home at the weekends. I now live in Dublin during the week, and once again, home is so close to the city so I can easily get home in an hour at the weekend.
I also love hill walking and hiking, so the finest Wicklow mountains are so close by, and it’s nice to feel that no matter where I go home is always close by!
WHAT’S YOUR IDEAL DAY SPENT IN KILDARE?
My ideal day spent in Kildare would involve doing some yoga in my back garden in the morning, then going for a run or walk in the Curragh before heading to Killashee Hotel to the gorgeous spa for a massage and freshen up. Then I would head over to Kildare Village for a coffee and some retail therapy.
In the afternoon I would love to the Cliff at Lyons for some lunch and a walk (we recently visited this place as part of the Rose launch with Into Kildare and it was amazing). I then would love to go to a GAA match in St Conleth’s Park or Hawkfield, and back to Bardons in Kilcullen for a Caesar salad and a gin and tonic!
Without a doubt Bardons in Kilcullen! The food in Bardons is second to none and there is always a great atmosphere in there. The owner Eddie always has a warm smile when we land in and he always manages us to find us a seat even when the place is packed to the rafters. It’s a great spot for food and a drink and the thing I love is the food is consistently good.
HOW HAS YOUR TIME BEEN AS KILDARE ROSE?
My time as Kildare Rose has been fantastic so far. I’m privileged to be representing the county and as time goes on I’m beginning to realise all the role actually involves.
I’m after getting good at multi-tasking, because it’s very busy trying to juggle work and the Rose activities, but I love getting to explore Kildare and meeting so many new people and seeing all Kildare has to offer.
It’s amazing how much we take for granted in having Kildare Village and the National Stud on our doorstep, but Kildare really has so much to offer.
I’m also overwhelmed by the kind messages I’m receiving and people are so genuinely delighted which I’m very grateful for and I know my family are too.
The Rose of Tralee International Festival will celebrate 60 Years from Friday, 23 to Tuesday 27 August when the 2019 Rose of Tralee is crowned in the Festival Dome live on RTÉ One TV.