The new Rose of Tralee Rachel Duffy has opened up about her win and what it means to her.
We saw Rachel crowned during last night’s final, the first Rose in 3 years due to the pandemic.
Chatting on RTE’s Morning Ireland today Rachel shared that she was ‘blown away’ by her win, however, the moment was somewhat ‘bittersweet’ for her.
Rachel, who is a teacher, sadly lost her mam when she was just 9 years old. Since then, she tries to include her mother’s memory in everything she does.
“This whole experience, ever since becoming the Westmeath Rose, has been very special for our family”
“These things are bittersweet. It’s hard when someone’s missing, but my mam was there in her own way last night, and I definitely feel like she was looking down on me.”
Speaking about losing her mam and how her family have dealt with their grief she continued:
“I was nine years old and my sister was twelve and my brother was fifteen. My dad is a very good man, and he’s taken such good care of us.”
“The people in my community got us over the line and were always there for anything we ever needed. I’m very lucky.”
Rachel said that winning meant a lot not just for her but to make her family proud too.
“Regardless of winning in the end, the whole experience was just so amazing. To see the joy on my family’s faces throughout the week, to see the craic they were having… There were lots of tears, even for such a happy time there were lots of tears.”