Rose of Tralee 2019: ‘My escort’s name is Kate – and she is HOT’

What Roses will least likely say, and everything else you need to know about the festival

Loveliness test: Cork Rose Stephanie McCarthy and Galway Rose Órla McDaid. Photograph: Andres Poveda

Loveliness test: Cork Rose Stephanie McCarthy and Galway Rose Órla McDaid. Photograph: Andres Poveda

 

What is it?

A test of general loveliness, competed in by 32 women in their late teens and 20s, at the heart of the 60-year-old Rose of Tralee International Festival.

Where does it take place?

In the festival dome, next to the Rose Hotel in Tralee, Co Kerry.

When is it on?

Today and tomorrow, at 8pm on RTÉ One. And again after the news each day, at 9.35pm.

Ones to watch

Early favourites with the bookies to be crowned the 2019 Rose of Tralee include Kerry’s Sally-Anne Leahy, a teacher who has hosted children from Chernobyl and donated her hair to the Little Princess Trust; Mayo’s Nicole Loughlin, who has funded the construction of a primary school in Malawi; and Shana Pembroke, a former professional child actor from Chicago.

Rose of Tralee: Dáithi Ó Sé with some of this year’s competitors. Photograph: Andres Poveda
Rose of Tralee: Dáithi Ó Sé with some of this year’s competitors. Photograph: Andres Poveda

Hanky moments

Thirty former Roses are also returning to Tralee, including the first ever, Alice O’Sullivan.

Words most likely to be heard

“My friends would describe me as bubbly.”

Less likely to be heard

“My greatest achievement? I’d say that’s the seven bottles of WKD I put away before coming on stage.”

Highly unlikely to be heard

“Do I fancy my escort? Oh my God, yes. Her name is Kate, and she is hot.”

Least likely of all to be heard

“For my special talent, I will now demonstrate how to give myself a breast exam/disable an attacker/rip this condom open using only my big toes/show you how to pee while wearing a jumpsuit.”

Unexplained mysteries of the Rose of Tralee

Why do the Roses always “hail from” their county of origin? Why is the big square tent called a dome? Why doesn’t Dáithí Ó Sé age? What is it all for?

How to watch it

With your tongue firmly in the vicinity of your cheek.

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