Former Rose of Tralee winner announces intention to run as an MEP candidate for Fine Gael 6 months ago

Former Rose of Tralee winner announces intention to run as an MEP candidate for Fine Gael

Well, she's no stranger to bringing in the votes.

Maria Walsh — winner of the 2014 Rose of Tralee contest — has announced her candidacy for the European elections later this year. She is seeking to stand as a candidate in the Midlands/North-West constituency for Fine Gael. Fine Gael's final selection will be made on 22 February.

In a statement made on Sunday, Walsh said:

"I am always first and foremost a proud west of Ireland woman with an unyielding commitment to achieving good progress on behalf of our communities.

"I appreciate entering politics and trying to get a seat at the European Parliament is a daunting task but throughout my life, I have constantly faced obstacles and challenges head on and overcome them.

"That is why I am first of all, asking the members of Fine Gael to nominate me as a candidate on February 22 and then canvass the people of the Midlands and North-West to support me in May’s European elections of our communities."

Walsh won the 2014 Rose of Tralee as the Philadelphia Rose. She grew up in Mayo but has lived between Ireland and the US.

If selected by Fine Gael, Walsh will likely be competing with the likes of Sinn Féin's current MEP Matt Carthy, and independent MEP Luke "Ming" Flanagan.