FOUR British Roses have made it through to the International Rose of Tralee Festival in August following last weekend’s Regional Festival in Portlaoise, Co Laois.
Manchester Rose Mairead Hussey; Nottingham Rose Claire Regan; Derby Rose Aoife Broderick and Scottish Rose Michelle Kelly were all named among the 23 Roses who will progress to the final stage of the competition in Tralee over August 15-19.
Their celebrations were tempered by disappointment, however, for Birmingham’s Rhona McGarvey; Liverpool’s Niamh Johnston, London’s Saoirse Faughton and Newcastle’s Carmel Clarke.
The Rose of Tralee Regional Festival is held every year before the Rose of Tralee International Festival to determine which Roses will represent their territories at the International Festival in August.
The event was originally established in 2004 in recognition of the fact that now every county in Ireland selects a Rose, and that there are now nearly 70 Rose Centres around the world.
Hundreds of people turned out in Portlaoise, Mountmellick, Abbeyleix and Barrowhouse to greet the 60 Roses, Rose Buds, their families and friends for the Regional Festival over the June Bank Holiday weekend.
Just like the International Festival, the Regional Festival was hosted by Dáithí Ó Sé who interviewed each Rose on stage at the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel over three nights.
Roses representing 29 counties in Ireland, 13 regions in the USA, Melbourne, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Oman, Canada, Luxembourg, Germany, Scotland and seven major cities in England, all took part in the Regional Festival.
After three sell-out selection nights, 23 Roses were selected to progress to the Rose of Tralee International Festival in Tralee and they are:
1. Carlow – Miriam Smyth
2. Clare – Joanne O’Gorman
3. Donegal – Tamara Payne
4. Galway – Nicola Corcoran
5. Laois – Teresa Maria Brennan
6. Leitrim – Zara Healy
1. Derby – Aoife Broderick
2. Manchester – Mairead Hussey
3. Nottingham – Claire Regan
4. Scotland – Michelle Kelly
1. Arizona – Sarah Hines
2. Boston & New England – Michelle Prior
3. Kentucky – Claire Curran
4. North Carolina – Nancy Boyce
5. Philadelphia – Maria Walsh
6. Southern California – Kathryn Anne Bergman
7. Texas – Cyndi Crowell
8. Washington DC – Alison Wetterauw
1. Toronto – Katie Blundell
2. Western Canada – Catharine Joyce
Rest of the World
1. Abu Dhabi – Patrice McGillycuddy
2. Dubai – Ailis Hughes
3. Luxembourg – Niamh Bergin
View images from the weekend below: