Rachel Duffy has been announced as the 2022 Rose of Tralee, becoming the first Rose representing Westmeath to take the title.

The 24-year-old looked emotional when the result was announced in Munster Technological University's Kerry Sports Academy in Tralee on Tuesday night.

The new Rose, who succeeds 2019's winner, Limerick Rose Dr Sinéad Flanagan, told Dáithí Ó Sé she is "just in total shock".

She added: "We've had a great year in Westmeath this year between the Tailteann Cup, Fleadh Cheoil and now we have the Rose of Tralee."

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Rachel went on to thank her family and said she hopes she made them proud, especially her beloved mother.

"I would have loved for my mam to have been here, but she has the best seat in the house tonight, and I just want to say to my family that I hope I have made you proud and I love you so much," she said.

Last year, Rachel graduated from NUI Galway with a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and Spanish. She is looking forward to returning to university to complete her Master's degree to be a Spanish and English teacher.

Rachel Duffy is from the small village of Rosemount located in the heart of the country in Co Westmeath

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, this year's Rose of Tralee outing marked Dáithí's eleventh year presenting the show.

It was a landmark year for the international festival as it celebrated rule changes welcoming transgender applicants, those who are married, as well as the age limit being increased to 29. However, organisers say no married or trans women were in the festival, despite the changed rules.

The much-loved event also moved venue with the live televised broadcast coming from the Sports Academy building at MTU Tralee instead of the Dome marquee that was previously erected for the show each year.

The Rose of Tralee Festival 2022 made a welcome return to the Kingdom

The 33 International Roses represented the Irish diaspora worldwide including centres in Ireland, Britain, United States, Canada, Australia and the Middle East.

Across the two nights, viewers were treated to the Roses performing a number of emotional songs, reciting beautiful poetry and sharing their ties to Ireland.

Rose of Tralee 2022 - the highlights from both nights

Watch the show on the RTÉ Player