The Rose of Tralee International Festival is one of Ireland's largest and longest running festivals, celebrating 55 years in 2014. The heart of the festival is the selection of the Rose of Tralee which brings young women of Irish descent from around the world to County Kerry, Ireland for a global celebration of Irish culture. The festival also includes street entertainment, carnival, live concerts, theatre, circus, markets, funfair, fireworks and our internationally renowned Rose Parade.
My full name is Margaret Rose Keehan, but my friends and family call me “Rosie.” I am 22 years old and I was born and raised in San Francisco, growing up mostly in the Sunset district. I attended St. Finn Barr Catholic Elementary School and Convent of the Sacred Heart High School in the city before going on to the University of San Francisco where I graduated with a BA in Arts Management and Art History. While studying at USF, I had the opportunity to spend a year abroad. I spent four months studying at Loyola in Rome, Italy and six months in Ireland, studying at University College Dublin. Since graduating, I currently work as an office manager for a small consulting company that specializes in city planning, engineering, and site development. Although I enjoy my job, my passion is in the arts and I someday hope to work for a civic arts organization, such as the San Francisco Arts Commission or other such public arts programs.
In addition to the visual arts, I am also very passionate about music. My father and brother, as well as numerous other relatives in Ireland, are both very talented musicians and singers. I love to sing and have recently made another attempt to learn the piano. Maybe third time’s a charm! Growing up surrounded by Irish traditional music and songs is a unique and at times, unusual experience. I believe it has played a major part in developing who I am as a person.
I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was ten years old, so my health is also very important to me. I enjoy being active and took up running while studying in Dublin, where I ran my first 10k race. I now enjoy partaking in races regularly and someday, I hope to be able to run the Nike Women’s Marathon.
My favorite things in life are the simple ones. In my free time I enjoy relaxing with my friends, family and my Glenn terrier, “Whiskey”, as well as going to the movies, and visiting Ocean Beach. Several women I know have participated in the San Francisco Rose of Tralee selection and I am very excited to become a part of that tradition.