Deirdre was crowed 2018 Galway Rose out of 29 girls all hoping to take the Sash onto Tralee. It has been a phenomenal year for Deirdre and CatwalkHQ has been a proud sponsor of Galway Rose Centre and absolutely loved seeing Deirdre and her CatwalkHQ glow during the year.
We thought it would be a lovely idea to start our Get To Know Me Series with an amazing young woman, role model and ambassador Ms Deirdre O’Sullivan, Galway Rose 2018.
What motivates you to work hard?
I am an enthusiastic and hardworking person by nature and generally, I take great pride in my work. I always believe that if you commit to something, you should give 100% to it. I get great satisfaction from knowing that I have done my best. Everything is an opportunity for you to improve and learn. You never know what door may open from a job well done.
What really makes you angry?
I don’t get angry too often but like everybody else, there are things that irritate me. I strongly dislike unnecessary negativity and drama.
What is your favourite thing about your career?
The thing I most enjoy about my career is the children. I thoroughly enjoy going into the classroom everyday to work, interact and play with each of them. I enjoy seeing their reactions, their discoveries and the fun they take out of different learning activities.
Children have the most wonderful perception of things. Everything is so positive, so magical and so new to them. There is no such thing as impossibility!
So often we use words like ‘disability and disorder’ to describe the differing learning abilities of a child. From these words, already there is a negative connotation in our heads. All children have potential, some just learn in a different way. Whether you are working in a special setting or in a mainstream classroom, every achievement is a big achievement for a child. Each of them brings a different dynamic, opinion and story to the class. I get so much from the children that I work with and I get such satisfaction from being a teacher.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
As cliché as it sounds, I think my proudest accomplishment to date, was being selected as the 2018 Galway Rose.
Both of my parents are from Co. Kerry. My mom’s family would have lived on Denny Street in Tralee. Every Summer, we would travel to Tralee to watch the parade on the Saturday night and to make the most of the festivities. We always felt that we were more than just at the festival – we were a part of the festival!
Being selected to represent Galway for 2018 has been impossible to describe. I was awarded the sash for being 100% myself. Not once did I change myself to “fit a mould” or an expectation, and that has given me the greatest sense of confidence in myself. Being a Rose was always a dream of mine, but being able to represent my county on an international platform made the experience even more incredible. It has been an emotional whirlwind for my family and I. I am so proud of my title and will always look back on my year with fondness. It is a year we will never forget! What an opportunity! What incredible people! What magic!
I am a Galway girl and this is my Sam Maguire!
What would you change about yourself if you could?
If you had asked me this question a year and a half ago, I can guarantee that my answer would have been totally different. I would have told you that my limbs were too long, that I was too stubborn. I was always my own worst enemy; putting endless pressure on myself and worrying unnecessarily about things that I could never control.
The scary decision to enter the Galway Rose selection is something that I will never regret. It has connected me with some of the most fantastic people I have ever met. I feel so happy and lucky to be a part of a new extended family, that can be found in all four corners of the world. Because of them, I have not stopped smiling!
Since being selected, my confidence has gone from strength to strength. I have stepped out of my comfort zone and put myself in places that I could never have imagined I would be.
My trips to Ghana with IVHQ and Belarus with Adi Roche’s Chernobyl Children, opened my eyes to how privileged we are to have been born in a country like Ireland. The people I met there took so much happiness from the little that they had. They taught me the importance of having two hands: one for yourself and one for helping others. Life is precious and fragile, make every day count!
Over the last year, it’s not that I have changed, but I have grown. I realise that with great stubbornness, brings great determination. My granny had the same long limbs and she is one of the most fabulous people I have known! Life is too short to spend it worrying. Make big decisions and do things with people that will make you happy. Wake up each morning knowing that everything happens for a reason!
Be Kind, Be Happy, Be You!
(On a side note; Catwalk HQ’s Dark mousse has proven to me that life is better when you are tanned…maybe a permanent tan would be nice?😉 )
What is your favourite book to read?
I really enjoy reading. It is one of the best ways to switch off and give yourself some down time. However, my favourite book/genre of book can change from one month to the next. From Jodi Picoult, to Maeve Binchy. From the Harry Potter collection to the Me Before You trilogy, it is impossible to pick a favourite!
One of the most incredible books I have read recently is The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. The book perfectly depicts the horrific conditions of the concentration camps during The Holocaust. It tells the true story of a young man, called Lyle and his indisputable strength, hope and determination to survive.
It was almost impossible to put this book down – a must read for your Summer holidays!
What makes you laugh the most?
My sister, Emer is probably the funniest person I know. Like all sisters, we have our moments where we both see red, and we are often told that our personalities are like chalk and cheese. But in saying that, we also have this very special understanding of each other, that nobody else will ever comprehend.
There is an age gap of almost 5 years between us, the older we’ve become, the more the age-gap has closed. We’ve travelled the world together; from interrailing across Europe, to volunteering in Ghana. Not a day goes by with Emer where one of us isn’t in tears laughing. She doesn’t even need to be in the same country! Her daily snaps, messages and videos will forever have me in stitches. Whilst in Tralee for the Festival, our schedules as Roses can be quite hectic. We run on adrenaline and excitement. It is understandable how some of the girls can find it exhausting and emotional. To insure I didn’t become one of those girls and to keep my spirits up, Emer would send me a collection of photos or videos of her, which she named “Daily Dose of Emer!” The perfect medicine!
Emer’s personality is like her hair; wild, free-spirited and with a mind of its’ own! Her endless positivity, caring personality and her infectious laugh, gives her the innate ability to make anybody happy. She is quotable and unpredictable, my very own comedian and back-up. She makes my life even happier, just by being in it!
What was the last movie you went to? What did you think?
The last movie I went to see was “Wild Rose” in the Palace cinema, Galway. The movie tells the story of young, single-mother, Rose-Lynn who has just been released from prison. The fiery and determined Glaswegian is willing to sacrifice everything she has to turn her dreams of being a country singer in Nashville, into a reality.
My second-cousin, Jessie Buckley, plays the role of Rose-Lynn in the movie, which made the trip to the cinema especially exciting!
Following my most recent trip to America with The Rose of Tralee, the movie’s soundtrack brought back many a memory from our time in Nashville. The movie was both heart-warming and heart-breaking, as it shone a light on the everyday debate of female sacrifice. A woman who clearly wanted and needed more in life, but felt tied down by expectations and responsibilities. Women are a force to be reckoned with! With the right support, we can have it all!!
What did you want to be when you were small?
For as long as I can remember, I have only ever wanted to be a primary school teacher. I should probably take this opportunity to apologise to all of my neighbours and cousins who had the unfortunate task of being Ms. O’Sullivan’s students at some point along the way!
If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
If I could do anything for a day, I would travel with a friend to a destination that neither of us have ever been to before. While travelling we would plan a brief ‘To-Do’ list and would immerse ourselves in the destination of our choosing, experiencing everything from the culture, to the food to the music. If there is a chance to do something that pushed us out of our comfort zone, then we would do it! I fully believe that travel is the greatest teacher. We have so much to learn. Life is too short to spend it in one location!
What is your favourite game or sport to watch and play?
I was never allowed to play sport in school. As someone who was mistaken for a four-year-old, aged twelve, there was always the chance that I would get hurt or injured!
I do have a great interest in the hurling and football though. I enjoy following the matches and to the shock of many, over the last four years I have been involved in training the school hurling and camogie teams.
With my dad being from Kerry, the rule in our house is usually that you support the Kerry footballers or you don’t live in the house! Earlier this year, I took great pleasure in Galway’s win over Kerry in Croke Park!
Galway had a great year last year in both the hurling and the football…here’s hoping that 2019 is even better!
What would you sing at Karaoke night?
There’s nothing better than a good sing song! Depending on the mood of the night, my song can change. On a more serious night any of the Irish or country classics are always a good choice: The Galway Shawl, Long Black Veil, When You Were Sweet Sixteen, I See Fire…
On a lively night, its hard to beat a bit of ABBA, The Lumineers or Grease!
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Our 2018 Chicago Rose and Longford Rose Katie Callahan and Loren-Katie Logan, can vouch for me when I say that I love my food! During our trip to America, we somehow managed to devour huge portions of chicken wings, barbequed ribs, hotdogs, deep dish pizzas, chocolate cakes and donuts in a relatively short stay in the Windy City of Chicago. I did not know that my stomach could hold so much!
Nevertheless, Italy is one of my favourite places in the world. Good food, good wine, good weather, good people – what’s not to like! While visiting Sorrento and in particular, Ravello, where I met an older lady who would make fresh pasta every morning, my decision is an easy one to make…
If I were to live off of one meal for the rest of my life it would probably have to be an Italian seafood pasta with a garlic, tomato and chilli sauce. A glass of white wine and some sunshine would also help!
Thank you Deirdre and best of luck in the future. We have no doubt you will have a wonderful life and touch so many people along the way with your kind, caring, loving and humble personality.
Love from all the team at CatwalkHQ xxx