Tuesday 23 January 2018

Our Rose exports are blooming in the desert

The oil-rich Gulf state of Dubai is becoming the destination of choice of the ambitious Irish emigrant, says Carol Hunt

SHE'S the teacher every Irish parent with a special needs child dreams of: Grainne Boyle is young -- she is 24 -- speaks Irish with a Donegal lilt and has been involved with the GAA and various charities since she was a young girl. But Grainne lives in Dubai and is a primary school teacher for special needs students at St Andrew's College there. Just recently she was elected to represent Dubai at the Rose of Tralee regional finals in Portlaoise.

"Regional finals?" I ask Limerick woman Catherine Kehoe, chairperson of the Dubai Irish Society and organiser of the Rose Ball.

"Yes," she sighs. "It's a sign of the times. There are so many more expatriate centres worldwide sending entrants to the festival in Tralee, they've had to introduce a regional final."

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