*Sarah McInerney on stage with Daithí Ó Sé. Domnick Walsh © Eye Focus LTD

NEWMARKET-ON-FERGUS’ Sarah McInerney was among the roses to flourish in Tralee this week.

33 roses took to the stage of The Dome in Tralee across Monday and Tuesday as the Rose of Tralee returned for the first time since 2019. Rachel Duffy (23) became the first Westmeath Rose to take the title.

Thirty year old Sarah McInerney was the Ohio Rose, the Newmarket-on-Fergus woman obtained Undergraduate and Postgraduate Degrees in Zoology and Education at NUIG. Since then, she travelled throughout Europe, Africa, and Central America working in jobs such as a secondary school maths and science teacher, a conservation scientist and falconer.

In 2017, Sarah moved to Ohio to complete her PhD in Integrated Bioscience with a focus on Biomimicry, an interdisciplinary practice that mimics natural strategies to create more sustainable solutions.

Since completing her doctorate, Sarah has worked as the programme manager for an accelerator programme that helps the world’s most promising nature-inspired entrepreneurs address humanity’s most pressing environmental and social challenges.

Away from work, she plays camogie and ladies football with Cleveland GAA and can be spotted doing yoga, horse-riding, paddleboarding, off-roading, camping, and exploring the Ohio Metroparks.

Presenter Daithí Ó Sé who was on hosting duties for the eleventh time had the former Newmarket-on-Fergus dual player on her toes when gesturing for her partner of six years, Drew Keeble to pop the question. Drew has only been in Ireland twice, for the Rose of Tralee and for the wedding of Sarah’s sister, Aimee.

Sarah’s supporters in Tralee included her partner Drew, parents Robert and Denise, her brother Jeff, sister Aimee, brother in law Joe Brett, Ger and Geraldine Ryan plus Ann and Con Leamy.

Kilrush’s Victoria O’Connell was the last Clare Rose to make it to the Dome in 2019, prior to this Sarah’s fellow Newmarket-on-Fergus woman, Marie Donnellan was in the competition in 2013, she had been the first Clare representative making it to the televised festival since 2006.

For the first time in the history of the festival, trans women and married women were allowed to enter the festival this year. However, organisers say no married or trans women were in the festival, despite the changed rules.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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