2018 Laois Rose Grainne Hogan with 2019 contestants Kathleen Hayden, Sarah Bergin and Melissa Glancy at Castle Durrow for the Laois Rose launch. Picture: Alf Harvey.
The countdown is on to the 2019 Laois Rose selection night, following a launch in its glamorous new Laois venue.
This year's selection night promises to deliver an unforgettable experience for the winning Laois Rose.
Because the format of the Rose of Tralee has changed to only 32 Roses every second year, every Rose and her sponsor, family and supporters are guaranteed the full experience of the televised interviews with Daithi Ó Sé next August.
The Laois search was launched in the luxurious historic surrounds of Castle Durrow, which hosts the night for the first time.
It takes place on Good Friday, April 19 at 7.30pm. The entrants will be treated like gold throughout their day of interviews, starting from 8am that morning with breakfast.
"We are no strangers to welcoming Roses here, for ten years we hosted the regional finalists for a meal and next week we welcome the former Rose of Tralee ladies for their annual reunion dinner. But this is the first time we are home to the Laois selection night and we are really excited," said owner Shelly Stokes.
The reigning Laois Rose Grainne Hogan was there to launch the search for her successor. She met some of the new entrants, including Sarah Bergin from Clonad, Melissa Glancy from Luggacurran and Kathleen Hayden from Ballylinan to lend them some advice.
Grainne still has two big events coming up with her sister Roses. She will volunteer in a Chernobyl children's home in February, followed by partaking in the New York St Patrick's Day parade.
"It has been an amazing year, I didn't think I would find such close new friends, we meet up all the time," she said.
Her advice to the new entrants was in true style for the hardworking farmer, practical and honest.
"Blister plasters. And just be yourself, that's literally it," she said.
The Leinster Express is media partner for the Laois Rose Selection Night, with Laois Shopping Centre on board again as lead sponsor.
To find out more about entering the Laois Rose, call the co-ordinator Lyn Moloney on 083 4631611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org