Waterford Rose Kirsten Mate Maher wins Rose of Tralee 2018 1 year ago

Waterford Rose Kirsten Mate Maher wins Rose of Tralee 2018

And what a fierce contest it was.

This year's Rose of Tralee had it all. The Westmeath Rose squatted with Dáithí on her back. The Carlow rose gave us a much needed dose of reality. A fake cow was milked for some reason. All the boxes were ticked.

But when all is said and done, there can only be one winner, and this year the grand prize went to Waterford Rose Kirsten Mate Maher.

Maher took to her own Instagram account this morning to share her joy, writing: "What just HAPPENED. I am stunned.. It is hard to describe how I feel this morning but I am bursting with pride. To my 56 Rose Sisters all I can say is I love each and every one of you. You truly are a fantastic bunch of women.

"You have all done yourselves, families, friends and Counties/Countries/Cities proud. We have all gotten to know each other so well, each and everyone of you has inspired me in some sort of way. I am incredibly proud to represent the Class of 2018."

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What just HAPPENED. I am stunned.. It is hard to describe how I feel this morning but I am bursting with pride. To my 56 Rose Sisters all I can say is I love each and every one of you. You truly are a fantastic bunch of women. You have all done yourselves, familys, friends and Counties/Countries/Cities proud. We have all gotten to know each other so well, each and everyone of you has inspired me in some sort of way. I am incredibly proud to represent the Class of 2018 ❤ @jenny_b_5 You've given me big (sparkly) shoes to fill over the next year. You're an inspiration to us all. Beautiful inside and out thank you for being such an amazing role model. To my Rose Centre, family, friends my amazing boyfriend @cian.omahony to the entire team of volenteers that make the festival happen each year, to the people of Waterford and the fantastic and welcoming people of Kerry THANK YOU. I hope I do you all proud. This experience has been magical for all 57 of us Roses and our families. Bring on the year ahead #justbesound

A post shared by KIRSTEN💫 (@kirstenmatemaher) on

Kirsten impressed everyone on Monday, singing a beautiful rendition of the Nina Simone classic 'Feelin' Good.' You can check it out below.