Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

RCSI student Elysha Brennan is crowned Rose of Tralee

19 August 2015
Elysha Brennan, a second year medical student at RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland), was crowned the 2015 Rose of Tralee on stage at the culmination of the Rose of Tralee International Festival last night. Elysha, who is from Bettystown in County Meath, was the first ‘Meath Rose' to make the final round of the competition, let alone win it. 

Elysha is pictured on stage with Dáithí Ó Sé (Pic © Steve Humphreys/Irish Independent)
Elysha impressed the judging panel and captured the hearts of the nation on Monday evening when she was interviewed on stage at the Festival Dome by presenter Dáithí Ó Sé where she spoke of her passions including a love for the Late Late Show, her difficulties with learning to drive, her ambitions to be a paediatrician and her triumph over adversity after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma (a form of leukaemia) weeks before her Leaving Cert began, which has been in remission for the last two years. She also delivered a wonderful rendition of the song ‘Bright Blue Rose'.

Elysha performs 'Bright Blue Rose' (Pic © Steve Humphreys/Irish Independent)
Speaking just after being announced as winner of the competition, Elysha said, "This has been the best experience of my life. I suppose I've experienced the lowest of lows and this is just the highest of highs. I have never been surrounded by such inspirational, moving, strong, driven, focused, ambitious, wonderful, spectacular, young ladies... I am in such good company, I thank you so much and I hope to do the Rose of Tralee proud."
Professor Cathal Kelly, CEO/Registrar, RCSI said, "I would like to congratulate Elysha on this magnificent achievement and as anyone who watched the Rose of Tralee this week will know, she has done her family, her county and her College proud."
The Rose of Tralee International Festival is a multi-faceted event that celebrates the many attributes of modern young Irish women. This competition is in its 55th year and is one of Ireland's largest and longest running festivals.