An Irish language proof reader working for the European Union is to represent Luxembourg at the next stage of the International Rose of Tralee contest in Ireland.
Irish national Laura Droog, who has lived in Luxembourg for the past two years, was crowned winner at the local selection round for the International Irish festival in the capital on Saturday after much deliberation from the judges.
“I'm feeling a lot of happiness and excitement right now, I still can't believe it,” she told wort.lu/en following the announcement. “The other girls were absolutely amazing, beautiful, talented women. I'm shocked, delighted and thrilled all at the same time.”
Laura was one of four candidates vying for the title at the event, which seeks to find an ambassador for the Irish community in Luxembourg to send to the annual contest in Ireland. Following candidates who sang and gave a rendition on the pennywhistle Laura, who was third to go on stage, had a tough act to follow. The winner's “showpiece”, a tongue-in-cheek demonstration of her body sculpt fitness class, clearly struck a chord with judges, however, who reached their decision shortly before midnight.
Laura grew up in Ireland where she studied Law and Irish at the University of Cork and a Master's in Scriobh agus Cumarsáid na Gaeilge at University College Dublin. She came to Luxembourg to after a placement with the European Commission in Brussels.
Laura goes through to the next qualifying round for the Rose of Tralee at Portlaoise from May 29. Saturday's runners up were Caoimhe Adams, Julie Smith and Lisa Crotty.
The event, hosted at the Hotel Royal, was the 12th annual Rose Ball held by the Luxembourg centre which was made all the more special given that last year's Luxembourg candidate, Nicola McEvoy, won the international competition in Tralee.
Irish Ambassador to Luxembourg Diarmuid O'Leary said at the ball opening: “Nicola , you're an excellent international Rose of Tralee and an excellent representative for Luxembourg and Ireland.”
The Ambassador also gave a special mention to Deirdre Ecock, one of the founders of the Luxembourg Rose Centre who served as Chairwoman for several years and recently stepped down. She is succeeded this year by Niamh Huggard.