Strandhill beauty Aisling Schmidt was picked as the 2012 Sligo Rose in the local heat held on Friday night last at the Clarion Hotel.
Fourteen Rose hopefuls were present on Friday night, competing to represent their county in the regional final which takes place later this summer and hopefully make it to the Rose of Tralee grand final in August in Co. Kerry.
The current Rose of Tralee, Queensland Rose Tara Talbot, was the guest of honour at Friday’s event. Earlier in the day she talked to the Sligo Weekender and offered some advice to the new Sligo Rose.
“Just go for it really would be my advice to people that have entered. It’s a whole new world and you’ll open your world up to so many new friends and for the Sligo contenders just be yourself, relax and have fun.
“I’ve met some of the Sligo Roses, they’re fabulous, I don’t know how the judges choose, I would hate to be a judge,” said Tara.
But choose they did and 20 year-old Aisling Schmidt was selected. She will be glad to know that Tara will be on hand to offer some advice too.
“If the girls want to contact me for advice that’s certainly fine. It’s very much a family, I don’t feel like I’m on a different level to them or anything, I was them last year.”
Speaking of the past year, Tara said: “There’s a lot of travelling, it’s been a fabulous year. I’ve travelled over to the States recently for St Patrick’s Day. I walked in the St Patrick’s Day Parade, there was about 30 of us, including Roses and Escorts.
“I’ve been to India last year with the Hope foundation. I’m going to Australia for three weeks in a few weeks so lots of travelling.”
As to the highlights of the past year so far, “I know this sounds a bit corny, but just going around Ireland and exploring, getting lost in the back end of nowhere.
“Just meeting Irish people in Irish communities and just seeing what the Rose means to them is just fabulous.”
Tara visited the North West MS Therapy Centre with some of the Sligo Rose hopefuls on Friday afternoon and got to see the amazing work the centre staff do on a daily basis.