Country girls gear up for Rose of Tralee festival
Published 12/08/2016 | 02:30
A farmerette-turned-pageant queen? It could only happen at the Rose of Tralee.
It's all systems go in Kerry ahead of the much-loved festival.
And Cork Rose Denise Collins has ditched her milking pail for a pageant wave - for the time being, at least.
The agricultural science teacher (26) has a passion for the outdoors and aspires to have her own farm one day.
"We have a little farm. We have 10 acres. I love farming and I teach agricultural science. My neighbours have a farm and I'm on their farm all the time," she told the Irish Independent.
The Mallow native has the support of all her friends and family, as well as her boyfriend Andrew O'Sullivan.
"He's actually my next-door neighbour. We're going out three and-a-half years," she said.
"I milk on their farm. He's so supportive. He's going to be in Tralee for the week."
Speaking at the Tipperary Crystal Rose Event, which is this year's lead sponsors, Abu Dhabi Rose Dearbhladh Walsh (24), from Co Offaly, said she hoped to impress the judges with her traditional music talents.
"I'm a traditional Irish musician. I pay the flute, the harp and the guitar," she said proudly.
The primary school teacher has been going out with her boyfriend, Co Clare native Eric Keely, for more than five years.
However, she insisted there would be no live proposals at the festival this year.