THE reigning Rose of Tralee, Tara Talbot, visited Limerick last week on a whistle stop tour to find her successor and encourage support for the Limerick Rose selection, which takes place next March.
Limerick has had an unhappy relationship with the Rose of Tralee in recent years, with Melanie Carroll the last Limerick Rose to make it to Tralee in 2007. However it was all smiles at Milford national school last Wednesday when Ms Talbot wowed the students, who were only too keen to hear tales of the year she has had since winning the event last August.
The Limerick Rose committee resigned under a cloud last year, understood to be in objection to the county failing to have a representative in Tralee for several years, but a new organising body, the Limerick Rose Centre, has been tasked with selecting our Rose.
Denis Griffin, who also co-ordinates the Galway Rose selection, has put together a team that includes former Dubai Roses Elaine Rael and Emma Dwane - both from Limerick - to help select a Rose for Limerick. Mr Griffin is keen to look forward and accentuate the positive side of the selection process.
â€œI am not even dwelling on that at this stage, we are remaining positive and looking forward,â€ explained Mr Griffin, who is from Tralee and was an escort himself in 2005.
â€œThere is no doubt about it, the Limerick Rose has been a tremendous event over the past couple of years and we intend to continue that and build on it and hopefully have a very successful 2012,â€ he added.
A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Mr Griffinâ€™s first stint as a teacher was in Milford national school, hence the Roseâ€™s visit last week.
â€œIt was lovely to be able to organise the visit and they jumped at the opportunity to have her there and they had a fantastic morning,â€ said Mr Griffin.
Ms Talbot also visited the Carlton Castletroy Park, where the Limerick Rose event will take place, and University of Limerick to meet potential Roses.
â€œThere has been a huge response, we have loads of entries already, within the last week alone there has been a surge in entries and interest, and there is still time for people to apply,â€ he added.
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