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A very special day with the Rose of Tralee

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 Ok guys, well we're all still recovering from our very special visitor yesterday- Maria Walsh, the Rose of Tralee, visited us in Hehirs yesterday, the 30th March, and we had the best day eva!

Maria is one of those special people that make you feel like you have known her forever..she arrived into Hehirs on a wild, wet March Monday afternoon, and actually lit up the street. We had decided to make an event around her visit- we invited all our customers to come in and meet the Rose..We asked Canon Ronayne to come down & bless the shop, and we asked a newly formed committee for Pieta House's Darkness Into Light Walk to come in and promote their event. So, as you can imagine, the place was hopping- all our friends from Ability West had come up for the photo shoot, Connemara Community Radio had very kindly come in to cover the event and Tony from The Connemara Journal had popped over to keep Connemara in the loop.. In lieu of a wine & cheese reception, we made a donation to the Darkness Into Light walk, and Brian had banners and balloons covering the store.

When Maria walked in with her mum Noreen, a big cheer broke out with a round of applause..Maria immediately started shaking hands and letting us take photos- we had a lot of little Roses (and not so little Roses!!) in the crowd who were gazing in adoration at this beautiful "Princess", and Maria took their cameras and posed for selfies, making funny faces and creating memories.

Brian hates making public speeches, but we insisted after all his hard work, he had to say a few words..he thanked everyone for coming out on the horrible evening and Maria & Maureen for all their great work in the shop, he thanked his wonderful wife (That would be me!!) and remembered my lovely Dad, Paddy "Pro" Doyle, whose 3rd anniversary was yesterday as well, he thanked Canon Ronayne and the Pieta House gang for coming in...He thanked everyone except our guest of honour, the Rose Of Tralee- He got quite a little bit of teasing about that, mainly from the Rose, who took it all in her stride!!!!! As soon as he finished his few reluctant words, Monica Lydon from the Darkness Into Light Committee, made a little speech about mental health and the facilities available to help us all locally..We'll be blogging more about that fundraiser later.. (BTW Brian did speak again to thank Maria- he reckons he's finished now with public speaking for life!!!)

I think Maria made time for every single person in the shop- a few words, a photo, a hug- she really did touch us all & we are so grateful to her for making the journey out to see us..a big thank you is needed to Mary Hickey and Maria's own mum, Noreen, who worked away quietly behind the scenes to make it happen, and to everyone who came and sent texts or messages, who liked the photos, and shared the magic!!

Our gifted local photographer Patrick Howard helped us create a special album from the day, which we have mixed in with our own attempts at capturing the day, on our Facebook page Hehirs Of Clifden- you can find the album HERE.

Thanks to everybody for all the love and we hope you all have a lovely Easter..we'll be open round the clock so pop in anytime to say hello!!

Love mx