Kathryn Feeney, the Queensland Rose, has been crowned this year's Rose of Tralee.
Kathryn was online for a webchat on Wednesday 23 August 2006. This is how she answered your questions
Kathryn Feeney: Hello everyone, it's great be online and to answer your questions.
James Lynch: First of all I think you are a very deserving winner. What part of Queensland are you from? Do you plan to come back to Ireland soon? Gra agus sonas, James
Kathryn Feeney: I'm from Brisbane, capital of Queensland and its just outside the city.
Samantha: Hello Miss Kathryn, It's Sam Andrew here, I just heard the news and am so unbelievably proud. I knew you'd shine through. Enjoy every minute and I can't wait to hear all your stories when you get home. Well done beautiful girl, you have done us all proud. Love Sam
Kathryn Feeney: A big hello to Sam and all the girls at the Queensland centre. Hope the new job is going well.
Suzanne: Will you be visiting NZ during your reign?
Kathryn Feeney: Yeah, I'd definitely love to come back to visit and I look forward to it. I have family there and it would be great to see the South island which I hear is fantastic.
Steve & Leonie Smith: How is mum and dad taking it. I'll bet they are doubly proud of you now. Tell him Riley and pups are doing great.
Kathryn Feeney: I think the Centre was contacted by the Courier Mail so I look forward to catching up with them soon. And I'm very glad to hear that the puppies are doing well. Send me some photos.
Ciaran O Nuallain: What did you feel like when Ray shouted out your name as the winner of the Rose of Tralee?
Kathryn Feeney: I was in absolute disbelief, shocked, amazed and delighted all at the same time.
Art Libien: How did Brigid Killen of Darwin go?
Kathryn Feeney: I just caught up with Brigid a moment ago and she was wonderful. She recited a poem that had the crowd infectiously cheering.
Andrew: Have you ever won anything before?
Kathryn Feeney: I won a tray of meat.
Fionnuala: Are you fond of the pumpkin scone? I believe they're the national dish of Queensland.
Kathryn Feeney: Pumpkins are among my favourite foods, even better in scone form. Really good with huge smatterings of butter and vegemite.
Gerry O'Donovan: How is Nathan doing? Tell him not to be making an eegit of himself.....well done Kathryn..
Kathryn Feeney: Nathan, my neighbour from home, added his unique touch to the Festival. He surprised me at the parade with a Queenslander shout and is off to Dublin today.
Mia: What does winning really mean to you? A lot of girls say its an honour & the title is great or its a wonderful experience? What are your reasons?
Kathryn Feeney: So far the experience has been sensational and its not only a true honour to represent your State as in international Rose, but also to indulge in other cultures from around the world.
Louise Ambrose: Congratulations Kathryn! I watched your performance on the web from here in Los Angeles. I would like to know what is your favorite part of Australia? We visited in 2002 and thought it was earth's paradise. We especially loved Brisbane, Cape Tribulation, Port Douglas, Cairns, and Steve Irwin's zoo!
Kathryn Feeney: Hi Louise, I've only just recently returned from a holiday in North Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef isn't named one of the seven natural wonders of the world for no reason. It was lovely there. Queensland is a wonderful place with fantastic beaches, forests and the outback. Crikey!!
Tiffany: Hi there Kathryn, I just wanted to congratulate you, being a past rose for Darwin in 2001, it's great to see yet another Aussie take the crown!! Enjoy your year ahead. I live in Dublin and you're welcome for a place to stay if you decide to spend time here. Tiffany Luck, Darwin Rose 2001.
Kathryn Feeney: As a past Rose you'd know just how exciting this whole experience is and Brigid did Darwin proud.
Orla O'Shea: Hi Kathryn, Orla O'Shea a former rose here and DELIGHTED 2hear u won! Congratulations! How are you feeling? You must be delighted! Travelling Australia for a year and if you should ever need anything please don't hesitate to contact me. Eamon and Eileen Gaffney and Noela have my number.
Kathryn Feeney: Thanks Orla for your support. I will undoubtedly be phoning you for advice. I caught up with Eamon and Eileen at the Australian embassy reception and their house is Wexford is coming along well.
Sean in Louth: How do you get to be an escort and what do they REALLY do??
Kathryn Feeney: Check out the Rose of Tralee website for application details. You should definitely become one as you guys make us Roses sane.
Niamh: Your dress was stunning. Did you try on many dresses before finding the perfect one?
Kathryn Feeney: I already had the dress from an occasion I didn't get a chance to wear it to, but loved the colour. I just had to wear Rose red.
Niamh: What were your first impressions of the other roses?
Kathryn Feeney: All the Roses became such great friends throughout the time. I loved my room mate Mary from Limerick and my best buddy Grainne from London who I got to spend heaps of time with. But all the Roses were an amazing bunch.
Sarah: Did you get along with your Escort?
Kathryn Feeney: Eamonn Doyle was my escort. He has been a great laugh throughout the Festival and got on really well with all my family. He's my brother's new drinking buddy.
Mary: Did you feel that fundamentally you were being judged on you looks?
Kathryn Feeney: Definitely this competition is not based on looks. It's about staying natural and true to one self.
Mr Mark Farrelly: What would your ideal man be??
Kathryn Feeney: My boyfriend Ben. He's a catch!
Noreen: Where is Queensland?
Kathryn Feeney: Queensland is on the east coast of Australia. It is called the Sunshine State... quite accurately so. It is so large that the whole UK can fit into Queensland six times.
Shae: I take it you didn't expect to win! Just going by the look on your face when they announced the winner... how come???
Kathryn Feeney: I kept saying after I won is this really happening? I was so shocked I had to physically pinch myself.
Patrick Bennett: Hi Kathryn, I am happy for you to win this year's rose of tralee, I was just looking up your story on this website and saw that you had relation's from Co. Offaly...well I was just wondering do you know there names because i am very close friend's from Ferbane who are called Feeney, thanks. good luck
Kathryn Feeney: Kieran Feeney is a distant cousin in Offaly. However, we have dispersed the Feeney name across the continents.
Barry O'Neill: What is your plan for the year now?
Kathryn Feeney: I'm just going to play it by ear and enjoy the whole array of emotions. I look forward to being the ambassador for the Rose of Tralee and further my passions for travel. For my immediate plans, I'm heading out with all the Roses tonight to let our hair down and have good craic.
Mark Boulter: Congratulations from a fellow QLDer!!!! Queenslander Queenslander!!!!
Kathryn Feeney: That's gold!
Raelene Dawson: Congratulations Kathryn! Aussie Aussie Aussie!! OI OI OI!!
Kathryn Feeney: Aussie Oi Aussie Oi Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi.
Ciara: What was it like when they called your name out?
Kathryn Feeney: When Ray called out my name, I was so surprised but at the same time he made me feel very comfortable. He's a great host and such a funny man.
Pat Murphy: How much attention do the Roses pay to who the bookmakers make favourite to win?
Kathryn Feeney: The Roses are way too busy signing autographs and meeting all the great kids to take any notice of the bookmakers' odds, but its a bit of fun for the competition.
Ann Quinn: Have you had any sleep yet?
Kathryn Feeney: All the roses are running on pure adrenaline, but it isn't stopping us taking part in all the fun in Tralee.
Kate Wynn: Kathryn,You are the best congratulations. Even the Kiwis will want to own you now. Lots of love your Kiwi cuz xxx
Kathryn Feeney: Kate and Ross (whats that short for?), thanks for the email. It's been great catching up with Auntie Kath. Thanks Matt for his text message. I think everyone is enjoying the big family reunion going on in Ireland.
woodley: Hello Kathryn congratulations from all at Devine Homes especially Mary and Ken Woodley it is fantastic hello to Noela and John too
Kathryn Feeney: Regards from Noela, John and myself. We're all over the moon and can't wait to get back to Queensland to share all the stories.
Patricia: Just wondering if Kathryn was at all affected by cyclone larry? I'm living in Innisfail at present and the clean up operation is still underway. its my first time in years to be away from home (cork) and miss the Rose of Tralee so congratulations!
Kathryn Feeney: Cyclone Larry didn't rare it's ugly head in Brisbane fortunately, however my Auntie who is an A&E nurse took part in the relief efforts in Innisfail. I wish you all the best of luck in restoring Northern Queensland to its original beautiful state.
Ben Caffery: Hey princess I'm dying to talk to you I'm so getting on a jet to come and be with you love you
Kathryn Feeney: I'll be at the airport waiting with a bunch of Roses! Hi to Wendy and Michael, Meaghan O'Loughlin, Mathew and Carly (enjoy your big day) and special hello to Gabby and Penny. I miss you all. Big love and hugs. x
Kathryn Feeney: Thanks to everyone who has sent in their questions & good wishes to me today. I've really enjoyed the webchat. It's been a fantastic experience and I'm so happy that my friends and family back home were able to watch it live on the web also. I'm really looking forward to the next twelve months. It is going to be really exciting.