Clodagh Fleming from Ballina has been chosen as the United Arab Emirates’ Rose after fighting off stiff competition in the recent Dubai Rose Festival.
Clodagh will now represent UAE at the upcoming Rose of Tralee festival in Kerry. Clodagh is a cabin manager with the national airline of the United Arab Emirates - Etihad.
She will now travel to Tralee to compete alongside 49 other contestants from around the world for the coveted title of Rose of Tralee, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in August.
Clodagh has been living in Abu Dhabi for the last five years, having moved to the UAE to take up her role as a cabin manager for Etihad Airways.
Beatrice Cosgrove, Etihad Airways’ country manager Ireland, said: “Etihad Airways is delighted for Clodagh and it is a fabulous reflection on the company that one of our staff members will be representing the UAE.
“The Rose of Tralee Festival celebrates modern young women in terms of their aspirations, ambitions, intellect, social responsibility and Irish heritage and we will be cheering for Clodagh all the way.”
The 2009 winner will be crowned with the Newbridge Silverware Tiara and be presented with the Perpetual Trophy. She will also receive a prize worth €25,000 to fund a year of travel that includes fares and accommodation, a generous clothes allowance and spending money. She will also be given the use of a car during her reign.
Anthony O’Gara, managing director and host of the festival, said: “In an unprecedented move, 50 Roses from home and abroad will travel to Tralee in August, mainly because they all want to be present in Tralee for the 50th anniversary.
“There will be nine roses representing Irish centres – Kerry, Cork, Dublin and six others chosen at the Irish regional final – and Roses from our long established centres in Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand, the UAE and mainland Europe.
Thirty-two roses will then appear on television when the programme is screened on RTÉ 1 on Tuesday August 25 and Wednesday August 26 2009. This will be Ray D’Arcy’s fifth outing as the programme’s host.”
Mr O’Gara said the decision to allow 50 Roses to travel to Tralee will help showcase the festival, Kerry and Ireland to a wider national and international audience.