Limerick escorts: Conor Ryan, John O'Flynn, Danny Neville, Noel Gavin
FOUR Limerick men have been selected as Rose Escorts for this year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival.
The Limerick escorts are: Noel Gavin, 26, from Castletroy, Danny Neville, 24, from Ballysteen, John O’Flynn, 28, from Newcastle West, and Conor Ryan, 24, from Adare.
The four Limerick lads made the cut following the Rose Escort Boot Camp which took place along the Wild Atlantic Way in Kerry over the Bank Holiday weekend.
The four, who already came through an interview process in April, had to pass a number of endurance tests and team-building exercises before they could graduate as fully-fledged Rose Escorts.
The escorts will be in Tralee for the international festival week in August, and will welcome the Roses to Kerry on August 15.
The Rose of Tralee International Festival’s communications manager, John Drummey, said: “The Rose Escorts spent three days in Kerry where they undertook a number of gruelling yet fun tasks to prepare them for the festival in August.
“The Boot Camp weekend in the Kingdom is a team-building exercise that is also designed to help them cope with the demands of a busy week in Tralee. We are particularly grateful to our friends in Kerry County Council for putting together such a packed programme of activities throughout the magnificent Kingdom of Kerry,” added Mr Drummey.
The lads, all aged 21 to 30, had to carry out a range activities including a hike over Mount Brandon - Ireland’s second highest mountain - cliff diving, water-skiing, cookery, swimming, kayaking, surfing, ironing and sewing.
At this year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival, one of the men will be selected as the Rose Escort of the Year live on RTÉ One on Monday, August 20.
The 2017 Escort of the Year, Thomas Lynch from Castleisland, Kerry, said: “Being from Kerry, I was always a huge fan of the festival. I grew up watching the parades, going to the Town Park and enjoying the selections on TV, so when a friend of mine suggested I sign up to be Rose Escort, it was really a no-brainer. It’s such a fantastic week with so much packed in it’s hard to choose highlights.
“There are three key moments that stick out,” he continued. “Seeing my Rose’s awe at the huge crowd at the Saturday parade, sitting on the float with [Rose of Tralee] Jenny at the Midnight Madness Parade and seeing how happy my mother was when I was announced as the Rose Escort of the Year.”
The 2018 Rose of Tralee International Festival will take place from 17 to 21 August, when a full line-up of FREE family-fun entertainment is planned for the streets of Tralee. There will be performances from The High Kings, Jake Carter, Sean and Conor Price, Hermitage Green, Oasis Tribute Band, Neil Diamond Tribute Act and Rolling Stones Tribute Band.
The Dome will play host to the Rose Ball, OktoberFest, a fashion show and televised selections presented by Dáithí Ó Sé.
Full details of this year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival are available from www.roseoftralee.ie, Facebook and Twitter @roseoftralee_.