Melbourne Rose Meghan Griffin (left) and Kerry Rose Danielle O’Sullivan (right) congratulate Offaly Rose Emma Kirwan after she got her Leaving Cert results last week. Photograph:  Domnick Walsh

The youngest contestant in this year’s Rose of Tralee final will be the first on stage this year. Offaly Rose Emma Kirwan (18) is one of 32 who mad(...)

Dáithí Ó Sé with Rose of Tralee contestants at RTÉ for the launch of the festival which runs from August 17th to 23rd. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

It felt like the height of summer on the lawns outside RTÉ. Under a rare, cloudless sky, bottles of water and suncream were dispensed to the Rose of T(...)