Farmers lead way in battle to be Rose Escort of the Year
While they may be more accustomed to donning mucky wellies and overalls, a record number of 11 young farmers will be getting suited and booted as Rose of Tralee escorts for the August festival.
The 58 escorts, ranging from doctors to distillers, recently took part in a vigorous bootcamp along the Wild Atlantic Way in Kerry.
The lads, who had came through an interview process at the Glen Royal Hotel in Maynooth in April, had to pass a number of endurance tests and team-building exercises before they could graduate as fully-fledged Rose Escorts.
One of the 58 lads will be selected as the Rose Escort of the Year live on RTÉ One on Monday, August 20.
Among the hopefuls is Offaly-born sheep and tillage farmer, Nicholas Corcoran.
The 24-year-old studied Agricultural Science in Waterford Institute of Technology and works on his relatives' farm in Lorrha in north Tipperary.
Nicholas previously spent time working in the construction industry in Sydney, Australia before coming back in December. He hopes to return to Sydney again and felt like this summer would be one of his last chances if he wanted to enter the escort competition.
"I know it's a cliche but it was always something that I wanted to do. I always liked the idea of going to a ball because that doesn't happen much these days and I don't know when I'll be home again so I said I'd enter it," he explains.