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30th May 2019

Former Rose of Tralee wins seat in European Parliament

Olivia Hayes

She has vowed to “hit the ground running.”

Former Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh has won a surprise seat in the European Parliament.

The newcomer will head to Brussels to take up a second seat for Fine Gael. According to the Independent, she said she is excited to represent the West and North-West.

She told the publication that she could not have done it without the backing of her family and friends.

“I put my name forward and I very much roped in family. I had a strong team and the party rowed in behind us from the start.

“I am unbelievably honoured to be a girl from Shrule and the fact that we have an MEP”.

In her victory speech she said: “Wow, MEP Walsh, thank you very, very much,” and said she “worked ferociously” to secure her 107,198 votes.

She will join Mairead McGuinness who took up the first seat for Fine Gael.

The 31-year-old was the first member of the LGBT community to be crowned Rose of Tralee back in 2014.

When she first announced she would run as an MEP candidate, she 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.”

Congrats, Maria!


maria walsh