THE reigning Tyrone Rose has told how she was “honoured” to be able to return to her former primary school in Dungannon, accompanied by the Rose of Tralee, to meet teachers and pupils as part of a special visit to the town.
Stunning Catherine Sherry, who is herself training to be a school teacher, also revealed how she has mixed emotions about handing over her Tyrone Rose sash at the beginning of April after a whirlwind year of public engagements.
The Dungannon girl, a former pupil of St Patrick’s PS, will join her fellow Roses to take part in the St Patrick’s Day Parade along New York’s Fifth Avenue next month in what she describes as a “once in a lifetime opportunity”.
Catherine and Rose of Tralee, Nicola McEvoy, visited St Patrick’s PS in Dungannon on Wednesday.
The pretty pair also met students and teachers at Holy Trinity PS in Cookstown, took a boat trip along Lough Neagh and visited the Hill of the O’Neill in Dungannon, where they were greeted by Mayor, Cllr Phelim Gildernew, before enjoying a well deserved spa afternoon in Ballygawley.
Speaking to the TIMES, Catherine explained this was Nicola McEvoy’s first time in Tyrone.
“This was a real trip down memory lane for me”, said Catherine.
“It was a real honour to be able to return to my old primary school with my Tyrone Rose sash and meet Mrs Hampsey and all my former teachers and of course the children.
“Never did I think I would be visiting my old school as the Tyrone Rose.”
On the impending handing over of her beloved Tyrone Rose sash, Catherine said: “It’s a touchy subject! It will be bittersweet for me, but I will be delighted to see who the new ambassador for Tyrone will be.
“I have some brilliant memories from my year as Tyrone Rose, from the places I have visited to the people I have met. And of course it was great to meet up with Nicola again as we became great friends during the competition last year.
“It is a great opportunity for any girls out there who would like to become the next Tyrone Rose or indeed Rose of Tralee. I always read about the competition and thought I would like to take part and it really is something which you will remember for the rest of your life.”