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Thursday 20 September 2018

Farmers lead way in battle to be Rose Escort of the Year

Nicholas Corcoran (left) with fellow farmers who will be escorts for the Rose of Tralee
Nicholas Corcoran (left) with fellow farmers who will be escorts for the Rose of Tralee
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

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.

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Nicholas feels the varied skill-set he has learned from farming will be a huge help in August when he meets his Rose.

"It'll be a busy schedule during the festival so I think a farmer's ability to multi-task and get up early will definitely come in handy. I'm really looking forward to meeting the Rose," he says.

While there are 11 farmers on the list, there are also 11 Cork man, which is the region with the highest number of representatives, followed by Kerry, Dublin and Limerick with four each, while one young gentleman will travel from Washington DC to be a part of the fun in Tralee.

The 2018 Rose of Tralee International Festival will take place from August 17-21 when a full line-up of free family friendly entertainment is planned for the streets of Tralee.

The High Kings, Jake Carter and Hermitage Green are just some of the acts that will be entertaining the masses.

For more information on the festival visit www. roseoftralee.ie

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