Congratulations 2017 New York Rose, Sinéad Kirnan

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Sinéad Kirnan was born in Walden, NY to Veronica (Kane) of Naas, Co. Kildare and Bill Kirnan of Brooklyn, NY. Thanks to her Dad’s passion for genealogy, the paternal side of her family can also be traced back to Co. Sligo and Cavan. As the oldest of three girls, Sinéad and her sisters were extremely fortunate to spend their summers growing up in Naas. The girls also loved Irish dancing with the Sheahan-Gormley School of Irish Dance from an early age. As they got older, trips to Ireland became independent and more frequent. Guessing which saint their Aer Lingus plane was named after began the excitement of each trip. Sinéad’s parents made it a priority for her to grow up within the Irish culture and to show her the importance of a strong family bond.

Sinéad completed two years of college at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, when she decided to follow her true passion of aviation. She had found her 8th grade yearbook, where she had written a 10 year prediction for herself; that she was going to be flying jets in the Air Force and running for the Rose of Tralee. In 2013, she decided to follow her first goal and enlisted into the Air Force National Guard as a C-17 Loadmaster. For the next two years, she underwent extensive military training across the United States. The past four years have only heightened her love of flying, which she accredits to her trips back and forth to Ireland. After graduating with her degree in Biology (medical track) and psychology minor this May, Sinéad will continue to follow her dream of becoming a pilot within the Air Force. She hopes to use her biology degree to combine two of her interests and enter into the medical field, as a flight physician. Ultimately, she dreams of sitting in the cockpit on her first flight in command to Dublin.

Her passion to encourage people and mentor the youth holds true in all aspects of her life. She enjoys coaching and refereeing youth basketball leagues and participating in leagues of her own. She is an active member with numerous organizations within her community. She is a volunteer with Hudson Valley Honor Flight, escorting World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., and at the Veteran’s Affairs Hospital at Castle Point as a physical therapy aide. She is a volunteer at various Special Olympics events and is a Eucharistic Minister in her church, Most Precious Blood. As part of her continuous desire to mentor, Sinéad works with the Girl Scouts as part of Operation Cookie Drop and volunteering within local schools to visit with the kids to promote confidence and inspiration. One of Sinéad’s greatest honors is working with Wings for Val, a non-profit foundation in memory of Lt. Valerie Cappelaere Delaney, to help continue her legacy of inspiring young girls to feel beautiful, but also not afraid to be courageous. Sinéad hopes to stay true to the values of faith, loyalty, and integrity that her parents have instilled within her and she is honored be part of a community of strong, compassionate, and intelligent Irish women. If you hear a plane overhead, wave; it may be Sinéad!

Now Sinéad’s second 8th grade prediction of becoming the New York Rose has come true! On April 30, she was officially crowned the New York Rose, and will be competing in the International Rose of Tralee Festival this August. She is humbled to have the chance to represent all Irish women of New York, and be united with the countless number of Irish close and far.

Kristin Stack Is The 2016 NY Rose of Tralee

2016 Winner Kristin Stack 2016 Winner Kristin Stack

This weekend the NY Rose of Tralee Festival was celebrated. The weekend kicked off at Empire City with the Night at the Races where all the candidates arrived clad in garden dresses, lovely hats and fascinators. The contestants had their interviews with the judges that evening and meet and greet with guests and media on hand. On Saturday, the girls and their Rosebuds and Buddies (girls and boys ages 5-12) took a bus tour of New York City and participated in a photo shoot. Sunday was the selection night at Empire City. Attendees were treated to a surprise performance by Broadway’s Ciaran Sheehan, star of Phantom of the Opera. The audience was filled with notable celebrities such as, Brenda Willis star of the TLC Network’s, The Willis Family, Kevin Crawford an exceptional Irish traditional music flute player of the dynamic Irish band Lúnasa and the classic instrumental group Moving Cloud. The contestants escorted in by Bagpiper Ambassador Justin Bourne who The contestants were interviewed on stage by Co-Hosts Sean Ruane and Seamus Keane of the music group, Narrowbacks. They also showcased their talents. The judge panel consisting of Steve Lenox, Kerry Whitaker and Ashling Colten had their work cut out for them as the 11 contestants were all talented socially conscious young ladies.

Steve Lenox, 2 time judge and President of Irish Network USA stated “The 11 candidates who put themselves forward to represent the NY/NJ/CT Rose Center are the absolute embodiment of what the Rose of Tralee is all about.” These 11 young, accomplished women are all important parts of the Global Irish family, and give the strongest evidence that the ties that bind the US and Ireland together are only getting stronger.”

The Rose of Tralee Festival is an international competition which is celebrated among Irish Communities all over the world. The festival, held annually in the town of Tralee, in County Kerry, takes its inspiration from a nineteenth-century ballad of the same name about a woman called Mary, who because of her beauty was called The Rose of Tralee.

NY, NJ, CT has a long history of participation in the festival due to the large number of Irish Immigrants who came to the Tri-state area. Kristin Stack will travel to Tralee August 17-23 for the International Festival to compete for the title of Rose of Tralee.