TWENTY-TWO hopefuls will line out this weekend hoping to become the next Limerick Rose and break the county’s unlucky streak in the Rose of Tralee festival.
Limerick hasn’t had a finalist in the Dome in Tralee for the past six years, but the casting vote in the Castletroy Park Hotel this weekend may change Limerick’s fortunes in the 55th annual international festival.
Denis Griffin, co-ordinator of the Limerick Rose Centre, said all the young women aged from 18 to 27 years, from Murroe to Meelick, would be very deserving of representing Limerick in the Kingdom this August.
“They are a terrific bunch of young ladies, and are a credit to their families, their communities and their sponsors,” he said.
“Limerick can be sure it’s in safe hands in the future with these ladies, who would be great ambassadors for Limerick.”
Last year’s Limerick Rose also said her experience has been overwhelmingly positive.
“The whole experience has been unforgettable,” said Chloe Heslin, the 2013 Limerick Rose. “The causes I have helped, the opportunities that have arisen, the people I have met and the friends I have made, have made this the most rewarding experience you can imagine.”
Limerick has won the crown twice - in 1984 and 1994 - with Dianne Hannagen and Muirne Hurley taking home the tiaras, and this year will mark the 20th anniversary of Limerick’s last win.
Limerick’s chosen ambassador will receive a host of prizes, including designer gowns, beauty salon treatments, hair treatments, hampers and accessories - all donated by local Limerick businesses.
Earlier this week, the Rose hopefuls were given a guided tour of the city to help prepare them for the duties should they be crowned the Limerick Rose 2014.
“The aim of the tour was to highlight some of the many great attractions that Limerick has to offer, both for local people and for those visiting Limerick as part of the City of Culture. As part of this, the Roses were treated to a fantastic day’s entertainment taking in local culture, sport and history.
“The Roses had a superb day and did themselves proud. The tour gave them a fantastic opportunity to bond as a group and make some great friends,” said Denis.
Applicants for the 2014 selection, which takes place this coming Saturday, were treated to an action packed weekend of activities, taking in Limerick Greyhound Stadium, a whistle stop tour of the Milk Market, Thomond Park, a Mayor’s reception at City Hall, lunch in the George Boutique Hotel, King John’s Castle, and FunWorld Bowling before returning on Mike Hynan Coaches coaches to the Castletroy Park Hotel for dinner.
The show begins at 7.30pm at The Castletroy Park Hotel. For more information call 087 1474100.