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Saturday 21 September 2019

Sunflower, daisy and tulip: Trio showcase 'Bouquet of Tralee'

Ciara Delahunty (centre), from Ohio, with cousins Eimear (left) and Leisha O’Sullivan from Skerries in the Rose Garden in Tralee. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Ciara Delahunty (centre), from Ohio, with cousins Eimear (left) and Leisha O’Sullivan from Skerries in the Rose Garden in Tralee. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Sorcha O'Connor

Sorcha O'Connor

William Shakespeare wrote "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" - and that is what one American was putting into practice yesterday in Tralee.

Ciara Delahunty (26) entered to become the Ohio Rose earlier this year, but unfortunately wasn't selected for the title.

However, in Ireland this week visiting her cousins, sisters Eimear (22) and Leisha (23) O'Sullivan, from Skerries, Co Dublin, she decided she would still head for the Dome - with the trio making their own special sashes for the occasion.

"I didn't get it but that is OK - we decided to become the 'Bouquet of Tralee', so we have the sunflower, the daisy and the tulip," said Ciara.

"We got the sashes made with the lady who makes the real ones for the Roses so she put it in the right font and everything for us.

"I watch it every year and know a lot of random facts about the festival."

Ciara, a nurse, will also be cheering on her friend, Arizona Rose Kayla Gray, who used to live with her.

Meanwhile, as the festival celebrates its diamond anniversary, visitors to the Kingdom can admire the dresses worn over the last 60 years by the winning Roses.

The 'Gowns of Glory' exhibition at Kerry County Museum in Tralee displays the many different looks worn through the decades. Each dress is accompanied by a note from its owner.

"The heat of the evening made the long sleeves uncomfortable, so just before the stage interview my good friend Claire Culinane cut them off and neatly sewed the edges with very little time to spare," wrote 1999 winner and Cork Rose Geraldine O'Grady.

The trademark Rose of Tralee removable skirt worn by many who danced as their party piece also features, with another Cork Rose, Denise Murphy, who won in 1991, remembering how the designer thought it would be "unladylike" for her to hold up her long skirt.

Irish Independent

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