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Why I fear my battle for Rose title will be lost in translation...

DUBLIN Rose Siobheal Nic Eochaidh may be a fluent Irish speaker -- but she's hoping that her 'cupla focail' won't get lost in translation when it comes to festival judge and fellow gaelgeoir Daithi O Se, who's renowned for his broad Kerry accent.

The Clondalkin native and media studies graduate (22) has revealed how she has her fingers crossed that they'll be able to understand each other when it comes to exchanging a few words on stage at the Dome.

"I'm well used to speaking to other native speakers from Dublin but it's a totally different kettle of fish talking to people from Kerry or Gaeltacht areas. He might say something to me and I might not understand it and I'll look like a total fluker. Hopefully we'll understand each other," she explained. "I'm looking forward to meeting him -- everyone says he's absolutely lovely."

The aspiring TV presenter is spending the next few days packing her finest party dresses and doing some last-minute preparation ahead of starting her Rose of Tralee adventure this Sunday.

The Maynooth University graduate will be getting her first look at the 32 other contestants from around the world with whom she'll be battling it out for the coveted title in the Festival Dome. They'll be spending three days in the capital city before starting the Rose Tour, which will end in Kerry in 10 days' time.

And she insists that she won't be distracted by things like betting odds and is determined to just enjoy the experience.

"I just want to have a bit of fun. I think what served me well during the Dublin heats was that was I wasn't putting any huge pressure on myself," she continued.

"I'm waiting to have that big panic moment where the nerves really kick in but I'm fine so far. I'm more excited than anything else."

One of five siblings, she'll also have no shortage of support when she takes to the stage later this month. "My mum and dad are actually renting a house in Tralee for two weeks so they're making a holiday out of it and then my brothers and sisters are going to come down at some point as well," she said.

A hip hop dancer, she also has to decide on whether or not she'll be performing a party piece or not -- given the practicalities involved.

"Well that's the big question now but I don't think I'll be doing any hip hop in Tralee, it's way too complicated given the production values involved. Hopefully I might be able to do a few simple moves on the night," she added.

mfinn@herald.ie


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