WATCH: Carlow Rose wins a lot of fans for discussing heroin addiction in her family
An absolutely top performance.
At its best, the Rose of Ireland gives Irish women the platform to bring to the fore social issues that don't always get enough attention.
The Westmeath Rose was a tough act to follow, but the Carlow Rose, Shauna Ray Lacey, quickly won over many hearts by frankly discussing her parents' struggles with heroin addiction.
Lacey, herself a mother, was supported in the crowd by her mam, who is in recovery. She dedicated her performance of Aslan's 'Crazy World' to her late father — whom she said was responsible for all of her musical talent.
RTÉ shared a video of the performance.
— RTÉ One (@RTEOne) August 20, 2018
Lacey's honesty about such a difficult issue was a highlight of the opening night of the Rose of Tralee, and many commentators on social media were quick to praise the young woman.
Some went so far as to say that nobody else would best her.
Loving the #Carlow Rose...a hard working relatable mother; a modern representation of Irish women and she can sing beautifully. One of the most relevant Roses in years. Break the mould. My winner. #RoseOfTralee
— Deric (@deric_tv) August 20, 2018
Blow it up now ref. Carlow rose. Outstanding 👏👏 #Roseoftralee
— Rory's Stories (@RorysStories) August 20, 2018
The Carlow Rose was such a breath of fresh air. Open, frank, funny, real. Exactly the type of woman I want to hear from. #RoseofTralee
— ⭐ amy o'connor ⭐ (@amyohconnor) August 20, 2018
Seeing Shauna up there talking about being a young mother and having her life touched by addiction, she is an absolute credit to have as the Carlow Rose. This is modern Ireland and I think she is the kind of rose needed in this competition to modernise it! #Roseoftralee
— Ciara Byrne (@CiaraByrne7) August 20, 2018