THE 2013 Rose of Tralee, Haley O’Sullivan is set to visit her ancestral home of Bere Island, West Cork on Sunday 13th October 2013. This will be Haley’s first visit since being crowned the Rose.
Representing Texas, Haley won the prestigious competition in Tralee in August, becoming the 55th Rose of Tralee.
Haley’s grandfather Joseph J O’Sullivan was born on Bere Island, and her Great-Uncle Mick J O’Sullivan still lives in the family home place on the island.
Joseph was one of a family of 11 who left the island to emigrate to Boston, before moving to San Francisco, where he joined the US Army and served in Korea and Germany.
Joseph passed away in the 1980s. Born and raised in Arizona, Hayley now lives in Dallas, Texas where she works as a marketing coordinator for an industrial chemical company.
A keen sportswoman, Haley is a member of the Dallas GAA club, Fionn Mac Cumhaills where she plays midfield on the ladies football team. She is also heavily involved in her local community, serving as a young leader in The American Ireland Fund and regularly participates in fundraising for Catholic Charities.
Haley will visit Bere Island on Sunday 13th October, arriving into the Pier at Rerrin at 3.30pm. She will then attend a function in the Hotel, Ballinakilla from 6pm to 9pm where she will be officially welcomed to Bere Island and there will be an opportunity for everyone to meet her.
On Monday 14th October Haley will visit St Michael’s National School on the island and also the Bere Island Heritage Centre.
Bere Island has long held its own in world history, being a strategic naval base during World War one, having an electricity supply long before mainland Ireland, and over the years hosting visits from many historic figures, including the Duke of Wellington, An Taoiseach Eamonn De Valera, President Mary McAleese, and now the Rose of Tralee is set to join that list.