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Rose of Tralee will be
 bittersweet for Daithi

It has been a rollercoaster year for presenter Daithi O Se that's seen joy at the birth of his first child but also heartache with his father's death.

The 36-year-old's dad, noted scholar Maidhc Dainin O Se, died suddenly last August just days after his son presented the Rose of Tralee, making the run up to this year's event very different for the Kerry man.

"It is coming up to his first anniversary and that, along with the first birthday and Christmas without someone, 
are always going to be difficult," Daithi said.

"I think my mum will keep her head down for a while and not attend this year, afterwards I will go to West Kerry for the anniversary."

Speaking at the launch of the 55th festival yesterday, Daithi also explained how the birth of his son Micheal Og on St Patrick's Day was "a great focus for my mam and took the sting out of my father's passing".

"We will go out for a walk, my mum and me and the baby, and she tells him all about how she met his grandfather back in Chicago in 1959 and it would break your heart so it would. But it's great that the baby is so positive for her," he added.

It is Galway-based Daithi's fifth year hosting the contest and with just days to go, he is on his annual health kick to boost his energy levels for the demanding gig.

"I have to be sensible in the days up to it because I have to hit the ground running. I nap between six and seven and we are live on air at 8pm, I definitely wouldn't enjoy it if I had been out the night before," he explained.

Daithi, who met his wife Rita Talty at the event in 2012 when she was the New Jersey Rose, will be heading to Cork in the autumn for an extended stint filming a new series of the successful Today Show 
with his co-host Maura Derrane.