Roses sing and dance their way into international final
ROSES from all around the world danced, sang and even uttered the odd poem to make it into this year's Rose of Tralee International Festival.
Hundreds of people turned out over the weekend in Portlaoise to greet the 60 Roses as they tried to land one of the coveted slots at the festival running from August 15-19.
Presenter Daithi O Se kept his cool amid the soaring temperatures as Roses representing 29 counties in Ireland took part. But there was a firm international flavour to the event as there were people taking part from the USA, Melbourne, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Oman, Canada, Luxembourg, Germany, Scotland and seven major cities in England.
After three sell-out selection nights, the Roses representing Irish counties will include Carlow, Clare, Donegal, Galway, Laois and Leitrim. The roses from Kerry, Cork and Dublin have already gone through.
The 23 roses selected will be joined by nine other Roses from around the world.
Longford Rose Kathleen Mahon, who missed out on a place in the final, said her biggest supporter was her eight-year-old daughter Caitlin.
Kathleen said it didn't feel like a competition because everyone had got on so well.
"It's been a great weekend with lots of strong friendships formed," she said.
Kathleen (27) added that she was "honoured" to have been selected to represent her native county.