Texas Rose Rounds Up the Votes
By Michelle Meagher, Editorial Assistant
October / November 2013
The winner of the 2013 Rose of Tralee International Festival is 25-year-old Dallas, Texas native Haley O’Sullivan. Teary-eyed and overjoyed, Haley, who beat 31 other contestants from around the world on August 20 said: “Everyone was so fabulous, I can’t believe this is happening.”
An American Ireland Fund Young Leader, Haley is a 2010 graduate of the University of Arizona with an honors degree in elementary education. After teaching for one year she changed careers and now serves as a marketing coordinator for an industrial chemical company. Haley is also passionate about fitness. She is a member of Dallas’ GAA club, the Fion Mac Cumhaills, where she plays midfield on the ladies Gaelic football team.
The new Rose, whose relations hail from Longford and Cork, received a Newbridge Silverware tiara, the Rose trophy, a world travel prize worth €25,000 and a year’s driving in a brand new Kia pro_cee’d.
Haley may have won the title but New Orleans Rose Molly Molloy Gamble stole the show when, in the first ever on-stage marriage proposal the the 54-year-long festival has experienced, Kyle Catlett, 23, asked a stunned Molly for her hand. She could hardly keep her composure as her boyfriend bent down on one knee. After a repetitive chorus of “no’s” (clearly caused by shock) Molly said “yes,” to the delight of the packed dome and the half million viewers at home.