Laois Rose 2018 Grainne Hogan shines on the Rose tour.
THERE’S never been a better time to apply to be the Rose of Tralee because, this year, Ireland’s most famous family festival will celebrate 60 years from Friday 23 to Tuesday 27 August 2019.
Rose of Tralee regional selections will be staged in towns and cities all over the world from February to June and anyone interested in entering their local Rose of Tralee event can do so online at www.roseoftralee.ie/apply.
This year the organisers of the Rose of Tralee International Festival have revamped the selection process by removing the regional qualification so that all the Roses in Tralee will feature in the TV final broadcast from the Dome on RTÉ.
Each Centre will now select a Rose bi-annually to make 32 Roses a year, and Laois is among the counties selected to send a Rose in 2019, while Offaly and Carlow will have to wait until 2020.
Roses representing Kerry, Cork and Dublin will continue to be selected every year.
Every woman who is selected as a Rose will enjoy everything that Ireland’s flagship family festival has to offer – parades, gala functions, entertainment, televised Rose selection nights, a Rose Tour and much more.
The Rose of Tralee, Kirsten Mate Maher, RTÉ Presenter, Dáithí Ó Sé and the first Rose of Tralee, Alice O’Sullivan, officially launched the search for the young woman who will win the title in the Diamond Jubilee Year.
They were joined in Dublin City Centre by Roses of Tralee from every decade of the Festival’s 60-year history: Cathy Murphy (1969, Dublin Rose), Marita Marron (1979, Belfast Rose), Sinéad Boyle (1989, Dublin Rose), Geraldine O’Grady (1999, Cork Rose) and Charmaine Kenny (2009, London Rose).
The Rose of Tralee, Kirsten Mate Maher, said: “My entire Rose journey has been overwhelming in the most positive sense. I still cannot put into words how surprised I was to have been chosen to represent the Festival and my amazing class of 2018 Roses and Rose Escorts. I cannot get over the amount of life-long friends from all over the world that I’ve made from the moment I was selected as the Waterford Rose, through the Festival in Tralee and beyond. It has been the most positive life-changing experience and the only way to truly appreciate that it’s more than a what people see on TV is to enter your local Rose selection now.”
RTÉ Rose of Tralee Presenter, Dáithí Ó Sé, who will host the event for the 10th time in 2019, 10 years after he was the Chair of the Judging Panel when the Festival celebrated 50 Years, said: “The Rose of Tralee is the single biggest thread that ties the whole Irish Diaspora together. I would encourage young Irish women everywhere to apply now to take part in one of the biggest festivals in the world.”
The first Rose of Tralee, Alice O’Sullivan, who was the Dublin Rose in 1959, said: “Over the years I’ve been constantly impressed by the people who run the Festival. Year after year, good years and bad years, they have an enthusiasm to keep it going. It has really put the town of Tralee on the map. I think that is such an amazing thing. It does well on television and that’s getting the message about the town of Tralee and about Kerry that it’s a really good place to be. Anyone who’s thinking of entering the Rose of Tralee should just go for it.”
The Lead Sponsor of the Rose of International Festival, Tipperary Crystal, will present the 2019 Rose of Tralee with a complete collection of Tipperary Crystal Fine Jewellery, and a range of high-quality products from their Giftware and Homeware Collections. She will wear a splendid tiara featuring the Rose motif as the central framework, adorned in glistening crystals and the exquisitely crafted Crystal Perpetual Trophy.
The Diamond Jubilee Rose of Tralee will drive away from Tralee in a brand new KIA from McElligotts Tralee, a World Travel Prize valued at €25,000 and a weeklong holiday in Kerry from Kerry County Council.
Every return visit to Tralee during the 2019 Rose of Tralee’s reign will be spent in comfort at the magnificent 4-star Rose Hotel, the home to the Rose of Tralee International Festival.
The 2019 Rose of Tralee International Festival will run from Friday 23 to Tuesday 27 August. To find details of a Rose Selection near you and to apply online, visit www.roseoftralee.ie/apply.