Hurling brings delight and dismay to the Rose of Tralee

Cork contestant watches as her side suffer 10 point drubbing at the hands of Tipperary

Sarah Harrington from Nenagh, Co Tipperary, cheers as her side wallop Cork to the dismay of Anna Geary. Photograph: Ronan McGreevy/The Irish Times

Sarah Harrington from Nenagh, Co Tipperary, cheers as her side wallop Cork to the dismay of Anna Geary. Photograph: Ronan McGreevy/The Irish Times

Sun, Aug 17, 2014, 19:01

There were decidedly mixed emotions this afternoon as Roses from Cork and Tipperary watched the All-Ireland semi-final together in Tralee.

Anna Geary is not only the Cork Rose but she is also Cork senior camogie captain. She could only watch, as most Cork hurling fans did, head in hands, as Tipperary handed out a 10 point beating to her male counterparts.

She will hope her own team fare a bit better when they take on Wexford in the All-Ireland senior camogie semi-final tomorrow evening.

There is no Tipperary Rose but there is a Rose from Tipperary. Sarah Harrington from Nenagh is the South Australia Rose and was as jubilant as her Cork counterpart was crestfallen.

Ms Geary is regarded as one of the favourites for the competition, but played down the talk of favouritism. “If I’m favourite, then all the other girls are favourites.

“Sometimes you can just be in awe of what they (the other Roses) have accomplished,” said the three-times All-Ireland camogie winner.

The 32 Roses who are participating in this year’s international final have been keeping up a frenetic schedule for the last week which included mass this morning (for the Catholics) and a trip to Tralee Greyhound track.

Undaunted by the schedule, five of the Roses, Imelda Finnegan (Sydney), Nuamh Bergin (Luxembourg), Mairéad Hussey (Manchester), Mary Hickey (Kerry) and the Dubai Rose Ailís Hughes, all went for an early-morning swim.

They have been moving from engagement to engagement at the “speed of lightning”, said the Mayo-born Philadelphia Rose Maria Walsh.

“My feet are a little bit sore, but we have no complaints. There’s only a few days left,” she said.

The town of Tralee is once again packed for what will be the 55th Rose of Tralee. Thousands turned out last night for the annual Roses’ parade through the town which passed off without the threatened rain.

Last year’s festival’s highlight was the marriage proposal live on stage to the New Orleans Rose Molly Molloy Gambel from her boyfriend Kyle Catlett.

The couple got married in May and received a huge cheer from the crowd in Tralee last night.

Five times host Dáithí Ó Sé has admitted last year’s marriage proposal will be hard to surpass though a few surprises are in store. “I was thinking of Rose clay pigeon shooting, but they shot that down for health and safety reasons,” siad.

He has been nominated to do an ice-bucket challenge for motor neurone though with the electrical wires and the slippery stage, it might need careful planning.