Always and Forever: Katie the Rose of Tralee

                    By Annette Dunlea



ISBN: 9781409272977


Love Stories

823.92 DUNL


May God grant you always,

A sunbeam to warm you,

A moonbeam to charm you,

A sheltering angel, so nothing can harm you.”


Irish Proverb


To Dad James Joseph Dunlea

                                                               I wrote this for you



Katie Bowen and Ronan O’Hanlon are love’s young dream. They date and after a bad start fall head over heels in love. On the night she wins the Rose of Tralee festival Ronan goes on bended knee under the moonlight and proposes to her. Her life turns around from this day forward. They have a three day wedding and honeymoon in Geneva and build a beautiful new home on the farm. They soon have a family and live an idyllic life on tragedy strikes. This is a tale of supernatural love. 

Genre: Fiction, Supernatural Love



Chapter One: The Childhood Years


Chapter Two: Katie Had A Secret Admirer Alexander


Chapter Three: Ronan Tries To Win Katie Back


Chapter Four: A Wedding


Chapter Five: Life After Marriage


The Rose of Tralee festival is now held annually at the end of August in Tralee, County Kerry, to choose a young woman to be crowned the Rose. The winning Rose is the woman deemed to best match the attributes relayed in the song: "lovely and fair". The winner is selected based on her personality and should be a good role model for the festival and for Ireland during her travels around the world. In contrast to beauty pageants, there is no swimwear section in the Rose of Tralee contest and the contestants are not judged on their appearances but rather their over-all personality and suitability to serve as ambassadors for the festival. The festival bills itself as celebration of the "aspirations, ambitions, intellect, social responsibility and Irish heritage" of modern young women. Log on for more information on the festival at Tralee Festival: Its offices are located at: Rose of Tralee Office, Ashe Memorial Hall, Denny St., Tralee, Co. Kerry, Republic of Ireland.



Sophie recites a poem of farewell at the funeral:

She is Gone by Anon

You can shed tears that she is gone,
Or you can smile because she has lived,

You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left.


Your heart can be empty because you can't see her,
Or you can be full of the love that you shared,

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of YESTERDAY.


You can remember her and only that she is gone,
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on,

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back,

Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.



Sean recites a poem explaining the shock and loneliness of saying goodbye to his mum

Word by Anon   

There is a word, of grief the sounding token.
There is a word bejewelled with bright tears.

The saddest word fond lips have ever spoken,
A little word that breaks the chain of years.
Its utterance must ever bring emotion,
The memories it crystals cannot die.

‘Tis known in every land, on every ocean,
It is Goodbye.


Ronan’s goodbye he recites a poem to Katie:


Legacy Of Love by Anon

A wife and a mother too,
This is the legacy we have from you.
You taught us love and how to fight,
You gave us strength, you gave us might.

A stronger person would be hard to find,
And in your heart, you were always kind.
You fought for us all in one way or another,
Not just as a wife not just as a mother.


For all of us you gave your best,
Now the time has come for you to rest.
So go in peace, you've earned your sleep,
Your love in our hearts, we'll eternally keep.


Sean writes a poem saying mum had died of cancer

The Death of My Mother By A J Dunlea


My mum, my best friend had just died of cancer,

It began as breast cancer but within twelve months it had spread right through her,

A positive lady she saw it as a second chance,

And lived each day as her last great romance.


She wined and dined us and my dad,

She lavished us with love and affection like mad,

She got to finalize her affairs and do and say everything she wanted so she wasn’t sad,

Infact she had made her peace with God and for the pain to end she would be glad,


This remarkable lady called Katie,

Booked herself into a hospice at the end of her life,

To save her family any trouble or strife,

Typical mum that cared for others more than herself even at the end of her life.


Never did she complain she fought it with all her might,

But it is a cruel fatal disease and it has no cure and none in sight,

She organized her funeral and left us a letter,

Sealed with a kiss and her own DVD of survival forever.


From the grave I hear her saying please go on,

Let the pain and suffering with my death be gone,

But choose in your hearts to carry on my love,

I will watch and help you as a guardian angel from Above.

 Her website:

Book Review The Kerryman Newspaper April 15th 2009 p20

Sweet Tale of a Rose by Marisa Reidy

The supernatural love of a fictional Rose of Tralee is the subject of a new book. Always and Forever: Katie the Rose of Tralee by Annette Dunlea.  

The book described as a sweet Irish tale of two farmer's children falling in love and marrying is set in Tralee in the 1980s and centres on Katie's coming of age. She wins the Rose of Tralee festival and on that night her boyfriend goes on bended knee and proposes. It is the beginning of the rest of her life. They marry and a terrible fate falls on the family. The book costs €11.31 in paperback or download from for €3.70.

Buy Online at :

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