One week on since being crowned as the Ulster Rose, Tamara Payne speaks to DonegalDaily about her delight with getting through to the final stage of the Rose of Tralee competition.
Last week at the Regional Festival in Portlaoise, Tamara from Ardara was one of just six Irish Roses to be put forward to appear at the Rose of Tralee festival in August.
Tamara was interviewed by host Dáithí Ó Sé on Friday, May 30. Being onstage with the Kerryman was quite relaxing, she said. “He makes you feel very at home, very relaxed and he was so much fun.”
Tamara’s talent piece is reading poetry. On Friday last, she read a poem entitled “Be Yourself”. For the August festival, she hopes to have written a poem of her own to read. Despite going on to study Law in LYIT, Tamara has a great interest in the written word. “English was my favourite subject in school and I always loved writing,” she said.
The 28 Roses that are going though to the final Tralee Festival stage of the competition were announced on Sunday.
To hear her name called out was great, Tamara said. “It was unbelievable. I was so shocked but I was absolutely delighted. Mum and Dad and everybody just went mad, they were so excited,” she said.
Tamara and the 60 other Roses had a great experience in Portlaoise last week – seeing local attractions and meeting local people in the community.
The Cuisle cancer support centre was a very touching experience, Tamara said. She also attended street parties, took part in a vintage car parade, and had lunch in the beautiful Castle Durrow.
Thinking ahead to Tralee, Tamara is not sure what to expect. She said that she feels reassured to have already met Dáithí and the other Roses. “You have friends already made by the time you go down there,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to it.”
Although Tamara has already started dress shopping for the big night, she hasn’t found “the one” yet.
It’s an exciting time for the 19-year-old student. “I’ve met lots of different people since I was chosen as the Donegal Rose and it’s lovely because I’ve met lots of different people from different countries.”
“People are starting to recognise me now.” Life as the Ulster Rose has been very different from the ordinary, she said. “It’s great fun at the same time.”
In the summer months coming up to the competition, Tamara will work in the local Nesbitt Arms Hotel, Ardara. She will also continue to present her radio show on OweneaFM on Saturdays. She will, of course, be preparing for Tralee and doing lots of shopping in the meantime.
The Rose of Tralee Festival will run from 15-19 August.Tags: