Saturday 17 August 2019

The Chicago Rose is part purple and gold

THERE is a purple and gold tint to this year's Chicago Rose!

Having completed a hectic week of interviews, including some crazy events such as the 'Polar Plunge' into the freezing waters of Lake Michigan, Siobhan Carroll, of Arlington Heights, Illinois, was crowned the Chicago Rose 2011.

A popular choice, her announcement was greeted by loud applause and cheers from both the audience and other Rose hopefuls alike at the Irish Heritage Center in Chicago. Siobhan's mother and biggest supporter Deirdre is from Waterford and she is a daughter of Kevin and Frances 'Francie' Cadogan (nee Hore), originally from Davitt Road in Wexford.

Her grandfather, the late Kevin Cadogan, began his career working for the Wexford People, followed by the Westmeath Examiner before finally returning closer to home as the Managing Director of the Waterford News and Star.

Siobhan's great aunt, and sister to her 'grammy' Frances, is the late Phyllis O'Connor, formerly of School Street in Wexford. In addition, Siobhan's great aunt Maeve and uncle Louie (also natives of Wexford) and cousins are lending her their support from Mayfield in County Cork.

Many of Siobhan's Wexford cousins have already secured accommodation in Tralee having no doubts that their Chicago rose will go all the way - even though she still has to travel to Portlaoise on June 3 to compete in the Rose Regional Finals.

Both of Siobhan's parents are Irish as her father Frankie Carroll hails from Tuam, Co Galway. For many years Frankie was a key member of Brendan Bowyers Big 8 Band in Las Vegas - headline Entertainers on ' the Strip' back in the day.

Should Siobhan make it to the finals in Tralee, it will also be a sort of homecoming for her father, reviving memories from his entertainment days when he played ' the Dome' at the festival many times.

Siobhan was born in Las Vegas, Nevada, and moved to the Chicago area when she was four. She graduated Indiana University with a B.A in Physiology and is currently employed at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, while she is also working on her Masters in Education at National Louis University. She has a younger sister Clare.

On a recent trip to Ireland Siobhan visited Wexford town. 'My Granddad Kevin was a very proud Irish man, but he had a great love for America too,' she said.

'I wish he was alive today, he would be proud of me,' she said, recalling that during his many visits to America Kevin would tell his granddaughter: ' Siobhan, maybe someday you will come home to Ireland as a Rose'.

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