It's not easy becoming an escort at the Rose of Tralee... just ask this year's contenders
It's not easy becoming an escort at the Rose of Tralee. Just ask this year's contenders, who had to cycle over Connor Pass, hike up Mount Brandon, abseil, kayak and surf, not to mention being able to iron and sew, before they get to don their tuxedos.
The eclectic mix that were finally chosen to be escorts for this year's Rose of Tralee festival were revealed in Kerry over the weekend.
A member of an Garda Siochana, an Italian chef, a reporter from the Nicky Byrne Show on RTE 2FM, and the son of the 1988 Boston Rose are among those making up this year's bunch of eligible bachelors.
They are just some of the men who will wait on the Roses and ensure they fly through the festival without any hiccups.
More than 200 men applied to become escorts at this year's Rose of Tralee. Despite the festival being expanded to cater for more Roses, only 65 could be selected for roles.
All of the escorts were put through their paces at a special boot camp in Kerry over the bank holiday weekend to equip them for the festival this August.
Rose of Tralee International Festival's communications manager John Drummey said this weekend was a test of each escort's endurance.
"Following a detailed interview process, the final 65 - the most to date - were selected to take part in a boot camp weekend in the Kingdom to help them cope with the demands of a busy week in Tralee," he said.
"It was not because the ladies love Milk Tray but because the lads prefer Roses," he added.
Entrants had to be aged 21 to 30 years, never married and had to raise €1,500 in sponsorship to be eligible to become an escort.