THE Shannon Harbour flag will be flying at the international Rose of Tralee festival in August when local girl Rebecca Egan will represent Dubai.
Rebecca was selected as the Dubai rose at the weekend. The 26-year-old teacher is over the moon and cannot wait for the festival in the summer.
She has lived in Dubai for the past two years where she is teaching.
Rebecca is a daughter of John and Tess Egan from Clononeybeg, Shannon Harbour and is a sister of Sarah, Eoin, Ross and Daniel.
“I'm blessed to come from a very close and supportive family, and their kind words since being awarded the title of Dubai Rose have been the warmest reminder of that,” she said.
“Apparently the phone hasn't stopped hopping at home,” she added.
She decided to enter the competition after a friend entered the Abu Dhabi Rose competition last year and encouraged Rebecca to enter this year.
“I don't think I'll ever get over how humbling this experience has been. I haven't opened a can of worms, but a barrel of confetti, and the kindness from all has been phenomenal since I was announced the winner.”
He is really looking forward to taking the stage in the Dome in Tralee in the summer and her duties as Dubai Rose start straight away.
“Oh sure I'm as excited as anything! My first Rose duty is this weekend, as I launch the Darkness Into Light walk here on Kite Beach in Dubai. I cannot wait to get stuck in. I consider it an honour and privilege to be granted the title and I don't take it as something light,” she said.
She was thrilled to meet two other Offaly contestants last week.
“As an Offaly person, I don't come across too many others on my travels and I had the pleasure of taking the journey as a Dubai Rose entrant with Maria Judge from Clonbulloge and Sinéad Kenny from Boora in the same parish as myself! We couldn't get over what a small world it truly is,” she said.
Rebecca moved to Dubai in August 2016 and is enjoying the change.
“Dubai is the absolute opposite of Ireland, the work is 100 times more intense, a lot of it seems quiet banal, but the lifestyle is amazing. It is very luxurious and it is the perfect location from where to travel and explore our lovely little planet,” she said.
She has enjoyed a few trips home to Shannon Harbour since she moved to Dubai. She is looking forward to the next trip home, for the Rose of Tralee.
“I'm not sure if I'm supposed to admit that it is in fact a dream come true. Now, I most definitely shouldn't admit that it was my Dad's dream before it was mine! It's the classic tale though really, all those teary eyed Dads we have all seen on our screens over the years as they beam with pride... well it has become a happy reality in the Egan household.
“Like many young cailíns, I adored the whole experience of watching it on TV every August, although it signified the dreaded end of summer, it was a real family experience . . . lots of yummy snacks and getting to stay up later than usual,” she said.
The entire Egan family will head to Tralee to support Rebecca in August.
“The holiday home is booked in Kerry already! It's actually lovely, because what with college, work and the general mayhem of life and craziness that comes with a large family, we haven't holidayed together in years. I know I'll be kept going on my busy Rose schedule, but it's just delightful to see how even getting to Tralee has made this family holiday happen. It will be great,” she said.