The new Rose of Tralee Eileen Slattery from Clare says her success was revealed in a reading of tea leaves.

Twenty-three finalists representing seven countries took part in the Rose of Tralee final event compèred by Terry Wogan in Tralee’s Ashe Memorial Hall. Eileen Slattery from Clarecastle in County Clare burst into tears when it was announced she was the Rose of Tralee.

Participating in a parade of flower decorated floats, Eileen has calmed down sufficiently to reflect upon her win.

Now that I’ve had time to think about it all, I’m really beginning to realise what the competition means.

Eileen, a hostess entertainer at Bunratty Castle sees her selection as an opportunity to fulfil an ambition to travel. Her main prize is a world trip and she also receives a cash prize of £100, clothes and a marble statuette created by the Kilkenny Design Centre.

Unusual circumstances lead Eileen to enter the competition.

I lost some money in the Castle, and later that night I was having tea, as a result a woman read my cup, and she told me I would be in a place of entertainment and I would get some money as a result, so next day I saw it advertised for this Clare Rose in Lahinch, so I was on days off and I said I may as well go, so I went.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 3 September 1968. The reporter is Kevin McDonald.