Now meet the budding Roses...

Lorraine Maher: I am 25, from Tullaroan, and a secondary school music teacher. I graduated from NUI Maynooth in 2010 with a Bachelor of Music Degree and then went on to complete my Grad Dip in Education.

Lorraine Maher: I am 25, from Tullaroan, and a secondary school music teacher. I graduated from NUI Maynooth in 2010 with a Bachelor of Music Degree and then went on to complete my Grad Dip in Education.

I am a member of a vocal harmony group called ‘Three Tones’. I have sung with various choirs over the years and I am currently directing my first musical production. I enjoy running and play camogie with my local club.

I am a very enthusiastic person and look forward to the whole experience of being part of the Rose of Kilkenny.

Helena Barcoe: I am 22 years old. I have quite a big family, 6 brothers and 3 sisters! I love them! I work in childcare and I just love it. I’m very much an easy going person and I love trying new things! I love drawing, some photography, animals, listening to music and going to concerts.

I believe that everything in life happens for a reason and that you should wake up every morning with the belief that something good is going to happen in the day ahead.

Denise Shanahan: I am 26 years old, from Bennettsbridge but currently living in Dungarvan (the Kilkenny one!) I graduated from WIT in 2009 with an Honours degree in Business Studies specialising in Marketing.

I work for HCL Technologies here in Kilkenny as a team manager. Since opening last February, they have provided a great boost to the regions employment.

I love to keep fit and enjoy running in particular, especially for charity events. I enjoy listening to good music, cooking and I have to say shopping is also a favourite pastime of mine. I’m excellent at it!

Sharon Shelly: I am 21 years old. I am currently living in Callan. I have just recently graduated from Mater Dei, Institute of Education where I studied Religious Studies and Irish Studies.

My interests vary quite a lot, but my main interest has always been music. My passion is singing. Singing helps me to express myself; the problem is that I am not extremely confident and it is only in the last year that I have found the courage to start putting myself out there.

By this I mean I have started entering competitions, I have started uploading videos of myself singing onto YouTube (which have received thousands of views already), I have performed in The Dome Bar in Waterford and I have even been interviewed and got the opportunity to sing live on KCLR. I am extremely excited to be taking part in the 2013 Rose Selection.

Dearbhail Kirwan: I am 24 years old, I am from Bennettsbridge. I completed an Honours Bachelor degree in Business and French in Waterford Institute of Technology.

For the past year I have been working in the Trustee Department in State Street International in Kilkenny. I enjoy playing badminton and meeting new people.

I am eager to travel the world once I have enough money saved up however I love shopping so I am finding saving rather hard! I am enjoying the Rose of Kilkenny search so far, all the girls are lovely and I know I have made future friends already!

Emma Doyle: I am 25 years of age. I am originally from Avoca, Wicklow. I have been living in Kilkenny for the last year as I am currently working for VHI Healthcare. I am on the outbound team so a lot of you probably have me on your voicemails! I have a degree in Applied Social Studies in Social Care awarded from the Waterford Institute of Technology.

Since being awarded with my degree I have been working alongside children with challenging behavior in a residential setting which I found very rewarding while also very challenging.

I have taught drama at the Giselle Stage School Gorey and love performing. I also really enjoy horse riding, swimming, socialising with friends and would consider myself a mega bookworm.

Ashley Cooke: I’m 25 years old and currently working as a primary teacher in Piltown NS. I graduated from Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick in 2009 with a Bachelor of Education with History.

Over the last four years I have taught in Ireland and New Zealand while on a working holiday there. Keeping fit is important to me and I enjoy walking, going to the gym and attending circuit training classes.

Other interests include art, music and drama as well as adventure activities.

In the future, I would like to do more travelling to famous landmarks around the world and further my studies in education and history.

Catherine O’ Carroll: I live in the beautiful village of Gowran. I am the youngest of four by eleven years so growing up I sometimes felt like I had five parents!

Growing up in Gowran I was involved in a lot of different aspects of community life such as Young Irelands Camogie Club and Gowran Pantomime Society.

I studied (BA) Health Promotion in Waterford Institute of Technology and then on to study Special Needs Education in Portobello Institute.

I work in Vhi Healthcare where I have met great friends for life. My favourite quote: “Even if you fall on your face you’re still moving forward”.

Lorna Fennelly: Having completed my management degree in Cork, the opportunity arose for me to combine my love for fashion with returning to the place where my heart is – Kilkenny – as I took the position of Oasis Retail Branch Manager in Goods.

Kilkenny, renowned for its devotion to the arts, cultural centre and its outstanding hurling reputation has always made me very proud.

Thanks to my father’s own enthusiasm, I play for Ballyhale Shamrocks and now coach underage girls, which is both challenging and fulfilling.

While having my own business is a real dream, the future can be uncertain so I try to live each day to the fullest.

Roisin Wafer: I’m 26, from Bennetsbridge and a primary teacher in Rosslare, Wexford. My interests include hurling – I train the school camogie team; walking – I am doing the Camino de Santiago walk in July for The Irish Pilgrimage Trust; travel – last Summer I went to Vietnam and Laos. This year I am going to Rio De Janiero to celebrate World Youth Day with Pope Francis.

I have been travelling to Lourdes at Easter since 2008 on a pilgrimage for children with special needs, I am the Group Leader for the Kilkenny/Carlow Group.

I have a love of music and drama. I have completed up to Grade 8 in Speech and Drama with Distinction, winning best in Leinster on two occasions.

I have a passion for cooking and baking. My beef mahogany and bread and butter pudding are irresistible. I have always dreamed of representing my county of Kilkenny at the Rose of Tralee.