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Westmeath woman announced as the 2022 Rose of Tralee

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Rachel Duffy has been announced as the 2022 Rose of Tralee, becoming the first Rose representing Westmeath to take the title.

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The 24-year-old was presented with her sash on Tuesday night by the 2019 Rose of Tralee Dr Sinead Flanagan after the Festival returned for the first time since August 2019.

33 International Roses from communities across Ireland and around the world took part in the 61st Rose of Tralee International Festival which was broadcast live on RTÉ One over two nights.

From the small village of Rosemount, Rachel graduated from NUIG with an Undergraduate Degree in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and Spanish last year. She is currently working in P Egan’s Traditional Irish Bar in Moate, and plans to return to university to complete a Master’s Degree to be a Spanish and English teacher.

RTÉ’s Dáithí Ó Sé made the announcement live from Kerry Sports Academy at MTU to local and global audiences with viewers tuning in from countries including Turkey, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

The celebrations were instant as Rachel was whisked away, where she was presented to the town of Tralee and serenaded by Alan Teahan in front of the thousands of people during the Midnight Madness fireworks display.

“I’m pinching myself now wondering if it just happened," a shocked Rachel said.

"Having all the Roses around me made it so much more special. I’m so grateful for this honour; it was such an honour to represent my community and my county and now to be the Rose of Tralee is just unbelievable. I never anticipated ending up here, I’m looking forward to the memories I’m going to make. If the last two weeks are anything to go on I know I’m going to make memories to last a lifetime.”

As the 2022 Rose of Tralee, Rachel will enjoy an extensive prize package that includes exquisite ranges from Tipperary Crystal’s 2022 Jewellery Collection, and exclusively designed trophy, the all new KIA Niro Plug-In Hybrid EV courtesy of McElligott’s Tralee for the next year, hair styling by Sean Taaffe Hair & Beauty during the year of her reign, complimentary accommodation at the four star Meadowlands Hotel throughout the year, a week-long adventure break from Kerry County Council, and a world travel prize valued at €25,000.

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Kerry base confirmed for Rás Mumhan

By Sean Moriarty Preliminary details of the Rás Mumhan have been announced by Cycling Munster. The four-day international cycle race will, once again, be based at the Riverisland Hotel in […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Preliminary details of the Rás Mumhan have been announced by Cycling Munster.

The four-day international cycle race will, once again, be based at the Riverisland Hotel in Castleisland and will run from Good Friday until Easter Monday.

The final route has not yet been revealed but it is expected to follow a similar path to the 2022 edition.

Last year, due to organisational difficulties, the Rás Mumhan committee asked local clubs to take charge of each day of the race.

Killarney Cycling Club hosted the Easter Saturday leg of the race, including managing the stage start in the town centre, the Category One mountain climb at Bealach Oisin Pass and the stage finish in Sneem.

“We are looking forward to seeing everyone at Easter and we wish all the riders the best of luck in their preparations for the event. Further details to follow as they are confirmed,” said Race Secretary Sinéad Moriarty.

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Showcasing Killarney to an influential audience

Kerry’s hospitality professionals turned out in style for the Skal President’s Dinner on Saturday night. It’s the social highlight of the year for professional tourism and travel organisations and it […]

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Kerry’s hospitality professionals turned out in style for the Skal President’s Dinner on Saturday night.

It’s the social highlight of the year for professional tourism and travel organisations and it was also a perfect opportunity to show the best of Killarney. Held in the Plaza Hotel, it was hosted by Kerry Skal President Michelle Rosney who used the occasion to highlight the best of Killarney’s performing arts talent, cuisine and locally produced drinks. There were special performances on the night by singers and dancers from St Brigid’s Presentation Secondary School and the West End House School of Arts who brought The Liberator, Daniel O’Connell, back to life for one night only to deliver a passionate dramatisation of a famous speech. Skal is the largest international hospitality networking organisation in the world with 13,000 members in 308 clubs in almost 90 countries. Fáilte Ireland Chairman Paul Carty said in his speech that the contribution Killarney has made to the Irish tourism industry should not be underestimated. He added that the tourism industry supports over 3,500 jobs in Killarney and over 7,000 in the rest of Kerry. He said the hard work put in by tourism professionals in Killarney over the years is paying off and when Fáilte Ireland surveyed hundreds of domestic and international tourists, at the height of the season last August, they couldn’t speak highly enough of their experience with 97 percent saying they were very satisfied. “The national figure is 90 percent so Killarney is actually seven percent higher than the national average and that’s truly exceptional,” he said. Over 55 percent of visitors to Killarney also spend time in other parts of Kerry and towns, like Dingle, Kenmare and Tralee, and really benefit from the spin-off.

INDUSTRY CHALLENGES

The Fáilte Ireland chairman said his organisation is acutely aware what Killarney has faced in recent years and the challenges it currently faces and every support possible will be provided to help.

Mr Carty said Fáilte Ireland last year launched a destination experience and development plan for Killarney and that will see the town reach its full potential through sustainability and the development of year-round tourist attractions.

He said costs were also a big concern with energy bills, in particular, going through the roof and putting businesses under serious pressure.

Staffing was another serious problem for the industry as so much talent was lost during the pandemic.

“An awful lot of great people left our industry and they’re not coming back, so there is a great shortage,” he said, adding that Fáilte Ireland was working hard to overcome the difficulties being experienced.

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