Any disappointment felt at the non-qualification of the Westmeath Rose in the Dome in Tralee on Wednesday night (August 26 ) quickly evaporated when Charmaine Kenny (26 ), whose parents both come from Mullingar, won the coveted overall title representing London.
In a remarkable twist of fate, Ms Kenny’s escort, 29-year-old postman Gordon Ward is also from Mullingar and delivers the post and the newspapers to a pair of Charmaine’s granduncles in Ballinea.
Gordon actually worked with another uncle of Charmaine’s for three years in Westmeath Motors, but never knew it until he arrived in Tralee for the festivities last week.
Charmaine, who has an MSc in Economics from Trinity College Dublin, is the daughter of Leon Kenny from Ginnell and Marian (née ) Nally from Gainstown and she won the golden jubilee title from 31 other Roses over two nights in the famous festival in Tralee this week.
The family grew up in Athy, Co Kildare, where her father was stationed after graduating as a garda from Templemore.
Her grandfather, the late Peter F Kenny, was racing manager of the greyhound stadium for 50 years while her granny Theresea still lives in Ginnell and was reported to be “thrilled to bits” by the result from Tralee.
Semtiments are similarly held in Gainstown where her Nally grandparents, Kevin and Mary, the former postmasters for the area, still reside.
Doting father Leon is a brother of former international runner Louis and cycle shop owner John on Spoutwell Lane and has three other brothers and two sisters.
Escort Gordon is from Walshestown, has worked for An Post for three years, and was sponsored by Wallace Recycling.
This was his second time to escort a Rose, having taken part in last year’s festival when he escorted the Philadelphia Rose, Colleen Tully.
“We got on great and had a whale of a time,” said a very fragile Gordon to the Advertiser at around 10.30 the morning after. We understood when he didn’t want to talk much more.