SIX young Kerry men have been lauded as the perfect gentlemen as they proved they have what it takes to play a key role as escorts in this year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival.
Jackie Healy-Rae Junior (22), Thomas Lynch (28), Joseph Meehan (24), Sean O'Connor (26), Niall O'Hara (28) and Shane Thornton (27), who already impressed through an interview process at the Glen Royal Hotel in Maynooth in April, were put through their paces over the bank holiday weekend at the annual escort bootcamp along the Wild Atlantic Way in Kerry.
Kilgarvan native Jackie is the son of Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae, and is looking forward to taking on the coveted role of escort at the Rose of Tralee festival which runs from August 16 to 22. “It should be something a bit different!” he told Killarney Advertiser.
Jackie, together with Thomas, Castleisland, Joseph, of Doon, Tralee, Sean O’Connor, Waterville and Killarney, Shane Thornton, Listowel, and London-raised Niall O’Hara, whose mum is from Camp and whose dad is from Leitrim, were selected to be among the 64 Rose Escorts at this year’s festival.
They had to pass a number of endurance tests and team-building exercises before they could graduate as fully-fledged escorts.
The Rose of Tralee International Festival’s Communications Manager, John Drummey, said: “The Rose Escorts spent three days in Kerry where they undertook a number of gruelling, yet fun, tasks to prepare them for the festival in August. It was not because the ladies love Milk Tray but because the lads prefer Roses. Around 200 men aged between 21 and 30 applied to become Rose Escorts at this year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival and following a detailed interview process, the final 64, the most ever, were selected to take part in a Boot Camp weekend in the Kingdom to help them cope with the demands of a busy week in Tralee.”
The lads had to carry out a range activities including a hike over Mount Brandon – Ireland’s second highest mountain – cliff diving, water-skiing, cycling, turf-footing, abseiling, kayaking, surfing, ironing and sewing in order to prove they will have the stamina to be a Rose Escort.
This year’s Rose Escort Bootcamp activities were supported by Kerry County Council and Kerry Civil Defence, under Civil Defence Officer Tom Brosnan, who played a major role in the transport and logistics of the event.
Over the course of the weekend, the Rose Escorts experienced the visitor facilities in Castlegregory, Derrynane, Waterville, Valentia Island, Dingle, Kerry Head and Tralee.
Looking ahead to the year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival, one of the 64 lads will be selected as the Rose Escort of the Year live on RTÉ One on Monday, August 21.
The 2016 Escort of the Year, John Slowey from Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, said: “Having been selected as the Escort of the Year was nothing short of a great honour. The opportunity to represent a fantastic group and to accompany our Rose of Tralee, Maggie McEldowney, at numerous events has been a brilliant experience. I've travelled extensively attending many charity events and Rose reunions while also working closely with a fantastic Rose of Tralee Team who couldn't have done any more for me. I’ve made memories and friendships that will be cherished forever.”
Full details of this year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival are available from www.roseoftralee.ie, Facebook and Twitter @roseoftralee_.
Above: Jackie Healy-Rae Junior, fifth from left, with Conor Halpin (Waterford); Paul Fitzgerald (Limerick); Conor Sheridan (Offaly); Maggie McEldowney (Rose of Tralee); and Joseph Meehan (Kerry). PICTURE: DOMNICK WALSH PHOTOGRAPHY
Weird and wonderful insurance policies
As it is January I thought I would start the year on a light hearted note. Lloyds of London is an insurance marketplace founded in a London coffee shop over 300 years ago. Today it is the world’s leading market for specialist insurance, from large maritime risks to space satellites. Here are some of the […]
As it is January I thought I would start the year on a light hearted note.
Lloyds of London is an insurance marketplace founded in a London coffee shop over 300 years ago. Today it is the world’s leading market for specialist insurance, from large maritime risks to space satellites.
Here are some of the more interesting and obscure insurance policies put in place over the years.
· David Beckham insured his legs with Lloyds for £100m in 2006
· Dolly Parton has insured her 40dd breasts for £3.8m
· Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards hands are insured for $1.6m
· Michael Flatleys legs were insured for $47 Million. The policy was only in effect when he was touring and forbade him from dancing except on stage.
· James Dean took out a life policy for $100,000 just a week before his tragic death at the age of 25
· The actor Richard Burton purchased a 69.42 carat diamond from Cartier for $1.1 Million in 1969 as a gift for Elizabeth Taylor. It was the world’s most expensive diamond at the time. Once Lloyds had insured the diamond they specified that Taylor should wear it in public for only 30 days a year and even then be protected by security guards. The diamond was sold in 1978 for an estimated $5 Million which would equate to roughly $19 Million today.
· According to novelist and inventor Arthur C Clarke, director Stanley Kubrick wanted to take out insurance with Lloyds to protect himself against losses in the event that extra-terrestrial intelligence was discovered before his movie, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ was released. Lloyds refused to quote for this one.
Kerry to feature in new TG4 documentary on Wild Atlantic Way
Three episodes of a new ten-part TG4 series on the Wild Atlantic Way were filmed in County Kerry. The series, which started last Wednesday night this week, and continues every Wednesday for the next nine weeks, follows the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to Kerry. In this series ‘An Cósta Thiar’, presenter Áine Ní Bhreisleáin gains […]
Three episodes of a new ten-part TG4 series on the Wild Atlantic Way were filmed in County Kerry.
The series, which started last Wednesday night this week, and continues every Wednesday for the next nine weeks, follows the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to Kerry.
In this series ‘An Cósta Thiar’, presenter Áine Ní Bhreisleáin gains an insight into the culture, challenges and benefits of living by the Atlantic and to find out if seawater still flows through the veins of its coastal communities.
On her travels, Áine will meet with the people of the coast, both young and old. She will spend time in the company of people who live and work by the sea, learning more about the attraction of these areas, and this life, through their eyes, stories and experiences. She will meet those communities and people who have a strong affinity with the coast and the sea, through new businesses, traditional livelihoods, recreational activities, ecology, birdwatching, eco-tours, swimming, boats (of all kinds) and more.
Áine began her journey at home in Gaoth Dobhair and heads to the wilds of Árainn Mhóir on the second leg of journey.
The third show platforms south Donegal while in week 4, Áine heads to the beautiful Achill Island.
Half way through her journey from Donegal to Kerry, Áine is in Carna in Conamara while in the the sixth programme, Áine continues her journey on the Galway coast, this time in Cois Fharraige
Áine visits Inis Oírr in the seventh programme, the smallest of the three Oileán Árainn, to explore how life has changed for islanders in recent generations through fishing, farming, tourism and sport.
In programme eight, Áine continues her journey, heading for the West Kerry coastline this time around, rowing with a local musician, Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich, a boatbuilder Eddie Hutch and even All-Ireland champions in Cumann Rámhaíochta an Daingin. She investigates the attraction of sea swimming for local women with local group ‘Snámh for the Soul’ goes foraging and paddleboarding with a woman who lives and breathes the sea and all it has to offer, Susan Feirtéar.
In the penultimate programme, Áine continues on her journey around the Corca Dhuibhne coast, exploring the history of trade in An Daingean with Brenda Uí Shúilleabháin and how the coast inspires artists with the talented Tomáisín Ó Cíobháin. She takes a class with local yoga instructor, Ails Ní Chonchúir and heads out to sea with local guide, Eoghan Ó Slatara, to learn about the islands on the west Kerry coast and she tastes some local seafood but she has to cook it first at the Dingle Cookery School.
Áine ends her journey in Uíbh Ráthach, in South Kerry. She gains a different perspective on the sea while snorkling with Gráinne Ní Ailín from Sea Synergy and surfing with Cian O’Connor, explores the long history of this coastal community from the time of the Milesians with poet and historian, Paddy Bushe, and learns about the Seine boat with a local TikToker, Séaghan Ó Suilleabháin, better known as The Kerry Cowboy, and is there a better way to finish her journey than a first visit to the majestic Sceilg islands?
Weird and wonderful insurance policies
As it is January I thought I would start the year on a light hearted note. Lloyds of London is...
Kerry to feature in new TG4 documentary on Wild Atlantic Way
Three episodes of a new ten-part TG4 series on the Wild Atlantic Way were filmed in County Kerry. The series,...
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