Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin [ˈiːvʲɪnʲ nʲiː ˈhuːlʲəwaːnʲ] (born 1983) is an Irish academic, currently a member of the School of Mathematical Sciences in University College Dublin researching and lecturing in Mathematics Education. She previously worked as a post-primary school teacher, television and radio presenter and won the 2005 Rose of Tralee contest. Her PhD, completed with the School of Education Trinity College Dublin, was funded by an Ussher Fellowship and incorporated elements of the Project Maths curriculum. She graduated with a first-class honours degree in theoretical physics from University College Dublin in 2005 and won the Mayo Rose competition in June 2005, becoming an early favourite to win the international contest. Following her victory in August 2005, she represented the Rose of Tralee festival for a year.
In 2007, Ní Shúilleabháin toured internationally with traditional Irish music band Ragús and appeared on RTÉ Television as a member of The Panel. She participated in the reality television show Celebrity Bainisteoir in 2008 and hosted The Reel Deal, an Irish music show, on RTÉ in 2009. Previously working as a teacher in St Mark's Community School in Tallaght, South Dublin, teaching mathematics, physics, applied mathematics and science, as of 2011 she was undertaking a PhD at Trinity College, Dublin.
Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin was born in 1983 to parents Art and Máire, and is a native of Carnacon near Ballyglass, County Mayo. Art is director of the Mayo Education Centre and Maire is vice-principal of the Castlebar gaelscoil.
She has five younger brothers and is fluent in Irish. She and her brothers are members of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. She has won for singing in the national Fleadh Cheoil competition. She studied theoretical physics at University College Dublin and graduated with a first-class honours degree in 2005.
Rose of Tralee contest
Ní Shúilleabháin won the Mayo Rose competition on 15 June 2005 in Castlebar after singing "Summerfly" by Irish singer Maura O'Connell and accompanying herself on guitar. She qualified in July 2005 for the finals of the Rose of Tralee contest. As a result of a rules change, Ní Shúilleabháin was the first Mayo Rose as final contestant in the history of the competition. She toured Ireland with the other finalists in August 2005 and sang for the final competition. Ní Shúilleabháin was considered by bookmakers to be an early favourite to win the Rose of Tralee contest.
Ní Shúilleabháin was crowned the 47th Rose of Tralee on 23 August 2005 in a ceremony broadcast by RTÉ Television and watched by three quarters of Irish television viewers. She had been accepted by University College Dublin to a master's degree in computational science, which was to start in September 2005, but instead worked as a representative for the Rose of Tralee festival for a year after her win.
Career after Rose of Tralee
In 2007, Ní Shúilleabháin toured the United States, Japan, and Europe as the lead singer of Ragús, a traditional Irish music band. She has stated that she plays the concertina and sings sean-nós songs. Ní Shúilleabháin appeared as a member of The Panel on RTÉ Two in 2007. She participated in the 2008 season of Celebrity Bainisteoir on RTÉ One, managing a Gaelic football team from Kiltimagh.
In 2009, Ní Shúilleabháin studied for a higher diploma in education at Trinity College, Dublin, where she regularly hosted events for the Science Gallery, and began to work as a student teacher for mathematics, physics, and Irish language in Tallaght, South Dublin. She graduated with her higher diploma to teach at secondary level the same year. She hosted the weekly Irish music show The Reel Deal on RTÉ Television for six episodes from June to July 2009. She served as ambassador for the Irish language festival Seachtain na Gaeilge in March 2010. She presented RTÉ travel show Getaways with Joe Lindsay, but has since been replaced by Angela Scanlon. The travel review programme features destinations that one can travel to directly from Ireland. In 2013, she was appointed presenter of a ten-week RTÉ Radio 1 series Aoibhinn and Company. In 2014 Aoibhinn copresented RTE show Fleadh Cheoil with John Creedon. Since 2012 Aoibhinn has also copresented RTE show The Science Squad with Jonathan McCrea and Kathriona Devereux.
Ní Shúilleabháin was in a relationship with broadcaster Ryan Tubridy from 2009 to 2014.
She lives in Dublin.