Francis Kaye meets two of this year’s Rose of Tralee contenders who are currently lighting up the corridors of University College Hospital, Galway

The odds on two girls who work together in University College Hospital, Galway, representing their counties in the Rose of Tralee Festival must be pretty short but that’s exactly what’s happening this August in the County Kerry town. Galway Rose Niamh Elwood, from Castlegar is a staff nurse in the Acute Medical Unit and the Offaly Rose, Jennifer Byrne, is a junior doctor in the Accident and Emergency Department.

Both come from sporting families and while Niamh is associated with Liam Mellows GAA club, Jennifer plays soccer in the National League for Galway WFC. Indeed, in the club’s most recent home game in Deacy Park, she scored in Galway’s unexpected but comprehensive 5-1 win over league leaders Peamount United.

Jennifer Byrne is a tall 24 year-old, standing 5 feet 11 inches and comes from Clonaderig near the Offaly-Westmeath border, 20 km. south of Athlone and 10 km. east of the monastic settlement at Clonmacnoise.

She went to school in Ballinahown and Our Lady’s Bower in Athlone, a school which has a fine sporting tradition. Following her Leaving Certificate, she studied medicine at NUI Galway.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own (issue 5617)