Coosan girl crowed Westmeath Rose 2010

Story by Tom Kelly

Wednesday, 14th April, 2010 5:30pm

A Coosan girl had the honour of being crowned the Westmeath Rose 2010 last Saturday night.

Cathy Brougham, 22, from Garnefailaigh, Coosan, who played a classical composition on the flute to help impress the judges, said that she was absolutely thrilled by her win.

"The shock is still sinking in, but it was a fantastic night" she said yesterday (Tuesday). "Beforehand I was extremely nervous, we all were, but we were trying to build each other's confidence."

A regular viewer of the Rose of Tralee since she was a little girl, Cathy has now had her dream come true. "Myself and my mum would watch it every year and mum would say, 'you should enter that Cathy' so it was always something I thought I'd do," she explained.

Sponsored by Cooney's Opticians, Cathy is a full-time masters student studying toxicology between both NUIG and AIT.

Hopefully, if she qualifies for the Rose of Tralee international festival after the regional finals, she will have her thesis handed in by then and can focus on the competition!

Proud parents Michael and Concepta were present on the night in the Athlone Springs to see their daughter win the Westmeath title, as was her granny from Sligo, brother and boyfriend.

"They couldn't believe it, they're very, very proud," she added.

Cathy is a past pupil of the Bower, where music teacher Sr Michael Whelan taught her how to play the flute and also attended Cornamaddy NS.

Cathy will now take part in the Irish regional finals in Portlaoise in June, where nine county Roses out of 32 will be selected to go forward to the unforgettable event that is the Rose of Tralee in the summer.

In preparation for Portlaoise, Cathy said that previous Westmeath Rose winners as well as the current Rose of Tralee have promised to help her out and give her tips.

"Hopefully, I'll do everyone proud," she added.

Cathy thanked her parents, her granny, Westmeath Rose organiser Paula Gannon and also her sponsors Cooney's Opticians, especially Orla, and everyone who were there on the night to support her as well as the other contestants, who she said she was delighted to meet.

Meanwhile, a Rosemount man has won the first Westmeath Escort title and will have the honour of escorting one of the contestants at the Rose of Tralee this year. Niall O'Brien was selected last Saturday night as well.