LIMERICK will not be represented in this year’s Rose of Tralee festival, but all eyes will be on the New Orleans Rose, Lisa Brady, whose mother hails from county Limerick.
It is now five years since Limerick had an entrant in the Tralee Dome, but Limerick Rose Suzanne O’Brien be among those in the Dome on the night cheering on the other Roses.
Before the two-night event in Tralee, the 32 Roses will travel around the country from August 13-17, taking in Dublin, Newbridge, Ballinasloe, Westport, Galway and Limerick.
Ms O’Brien had hoped to greet the Roses in Limerick but she will be competing in a number of events in the Dublin Horse Show throughout next week, where she has been a regular competitor and winner since the age of five.
“It’s really unfortunate. I would absolutely love to be there to welcome the girls to Limerick and hope they have a brilliant time in Limerick. Since Portlaoise [the Rose of Tralee final] I have gone on to compete for the RDS and it’s a really big opportunity. I can’t believe I’m missing out on greeting them, but I’ll be heading straight down to Tralee after the event,” she told the Limerick Leader.
She described her time as the Limerick Rose, which will conclude next year, as “amazing”. Steve Cronly, the commercial manager of the Rose of Tralee festival, said the ‘Rose tour’ is a very important event on the Irish tourism calendar as it sends “the perfect picture postcard to send to the world.
“There is no other festival in Ireland that offers such an insight to so many parts of Ireland en route to the main hub of the entertainment in Tralee,” he said. The Roses will visit internationally renowned Irish landmarks including Leinster House, Dáil Éireann, Croke Park, the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin Airport, RTÉ in Dublin, and the home of the festival’s lead sponsors, Newbridge Silverware in Kildare.
The Carlton Hotel Group will once again play host to the Roses at all stages of the tour, including the Carlton Castletroy Park Hotel in Limerick, while the Carlton Hotel Tralee will be the Roses’ home for the duration of Festival.
The International Rose of Tralee will be presented with her tiara by Ronan O’Gara on August, 21. The mother of Ms Brady, the New Orleans Rose, hails from Granagh in county Limerick. The 21-year-old is studying for a degree in Psychology & Spanish at the University of Alabama. She hopes to travel and teach English for a year abroad after graduating.