Rebel County will be cheering for Cork Rose Jennifer Byrne and the Sydney Rose, Maud Brennan, who hails from Glantane, near Mallow
The Roses of Tralee bloomed in Cork for one night only on Thursday before heading across the border to Kerry as the famous festival, on hold for two years, anticipated their long awaited arrival in the Kingdom of Kerry.
Hosted in the four-star Carrigaline Court Hotel just outside Cork City, the Roses were greeted by a host of local dignitaries and politicians including Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney and Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath.as well as local councillors.
The festival, which was last held in 2019, begins with the Rose Ball on Friday night but the Cork venue got a taste of the glamour which will be descending on the Kerry capital over the coming week at a cocktail reception and dinner in the Carrigaline Court Hotel on Thursday.
The focus of Cork people will be on the Cork Rose Jennifer Byrne, who was accompanied by her family, and Sydney Rose, Maud Brennan, who hails from Glantane near Mallow.
The Carrigaline Court reception was the last stop on the nationwide tour for the Roses and was also the first time they got a glimpse of the Rose Escorts who they will be partnered with for the festival. The escorts, who will have completed the Rose of Tralee Escort Bootcamp to ensure they are ready for the task at hand, will be paired with their Rose next week.
Welcoming the Roses, Carrigaline Court Hotel General Manager Jerry Helay said the venue was thrilled to host the Roses, the Escorts and the wider team.
“The Rose of Tralee is a historic event in Irish culture, and this year feels even more special after the two-year break”
Rose of Tralee International Festival Director of Operations Steve Cronly recalled their last visit to Carrigaline and said the hospitality at the hotel was ‘second to none’.
“The excitement for the 2022 festival is incredible and we look forward to welcoming all to Tralee, as we celebrate our Irish Diaspora worldwide.”
The 61st Rose of Tralee competition will air on RTE on both Monday, August 22, and Tuesday, August 23. The contestants will take the stage to promote causes that are close to their hearts and bring awareness to organisations about which they feel passionate and performing their party piece for host Dáithí Ó Sé.