Roses bask in Daithi's sunshine
New host of long-running festival forecasts happy birthday for contestant
THE first Kerryman to host the Rose of Tralee Festival admitted yesterday that the 32 Roses would either be unimpressed or merely unfamiliar with his TV career to date.
"The Irish Roses probably thought Ray D'Arcy was still hosting The Rose Of Tralee and were disappointed it was me they were meeting," said Daithi O Se.
The TG4 weatherman and judge on the 'All Ireland Talent Show' was on hand to congratulate Dublin Rose Niamh Sherlock, who celebrated her 27th birthday yesterday. RTE presented her with a birthday cake on the lawns of Montrose.
"I hadn't really told people but somehow it got out. The other Roses sang me 'Happy Birthday' on the coach. One of the nicest things I got was a birthday and good luck card my dad sneaked into my suitcase," said Ms Sherlock.
Sunderland Rose Noreen Feeney received a good luck message, too, but this one was from Niall Quinn. Noreen worked as a pharmacist in Sunderland Royal Hospital, where a children's centre is named after the former Irish international footballer.
The 24 year-old Armagh-born contestant said her thoughts were with an eight-year-old Rosebud, 'Puteri', who was her flower girl in the regional finals in Portlaoise last June and who this week underwent heart surgery.
"It is an amazing coincidence but I had the same surgery when I was 17. I'm thinking about her all week," said Ms Feeney.
The 32 Roses will tour Ireland this week, arriving in Tralee next Friday for the 52nd International Rose Of Tralee Festival.