Official Rose of Tralee Thread

All previews, comments, observations and analysis can go in here.

Let’s keep things positive and bear in mind the fact many of the ladies will be making their television debuts. Sure we can accept constructive criticism but let’s not go overboard even if a particular contestant is an absolute munter, has an awful personality and completely fooks up her rendition of Danny Boy.

And before anyone goes flying off the handle after the result you’d all do well to remember the judges base their decisions on the ladies’ deportment throughout festival week and not solely on their performance in front of the cameras.

Let the good times roll.

Excellent sentiments there Bandage.

First the lads:

  • Plenty of support from the escorts for The Shawshank Redemption.
  • Nice to see Ciarn O’Connell back again this year.

Escorts 2007

Darragh Broderick

Sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline
Darragh (27) is a Galway native. A Sales Representative with GlaxoSmithKline, he has
developed a passion for Munster rugby since moving to Limerick. Music is an important
part of Darraghs life, he has played drums and guitar with a number of cover bands and
would chance his arm at singing. A devotee of musical festivals, he is currently learning
the harmonica. I will treat my Rose as a Princess and hopefully gain friends for life.
Favourite food: Mashed potatoes
Favourite film: Braveheart

Tommy Butler

Sponsored by Butler Manufacturing Services
Tommy (27) is a native of Longford. A busy Pharmacist with huge interest in Rugby,
beneath the suave exterior of the Longford Rugby Club secretary, and budding politician,
is a very talented drummer. He is an active member of the 4 Victor spinal injury appeal
which has raised 50K for an injured local sportsman. Tommy says 3 words sum him up:
punctual, reliable and determined.
Favourite food: Roast beef with all the trimmings
Favourite film: The Shawshank Redemption.

Anthony Byrne

Sponsored by Brennan Hotels
Anthony (25) from Arklow is swapping his kilt for an Escorts tuxedo to fulfil a life long
ambition. The champion bagpiper is a graduate in marketing and works as Store Manager
in the family business. Playing for the opening of the Special Olympics at Croke Park and
for Pope John Paul II in the Vatican are among his musical highlights. Anthony worked in
Sri Lanka as an aid volunteer in the wake of the Tsunami disaster and plans to return there
this year.
Favourite food: Steak
Favourite film: Man on Fire

Enda Carey

Sponsored by Danny Byrnes of Mullingar
Enda (26) is a farmer from Mullingar. He plays football with Shandonagh GAA Club, likes
to socialise with friends and attends the occasional quiz. A trip to Australia is planned
for early next year. Enda describes himself as genuine, cool under pressure, tolerant,
punctual and good humoured. Accustomed to working in what he describes as a
pressurised environment Enda is confident that he has what it takes to be an Escort.
Favourite food: Chinese
Favourite film: The Shawshank Redemption

Darren Cawley

Sponsored by Punchestown Kidney Research Fund
Darren (29) is from Westport. A lifeguard and fitness instructor he also works as a bus and
taxi driver. Darren has no problems with bright lights as he was Mayo Person of the Year
2005 and he has represented Ireland in athletics at World and European Transplant Games.
He describes himself as friendly, outgoing and engaging. His view of the Escorts role is
to be good company for my Rose. Perhaps provide a shoulder to cry on and do all possible
to ensure she has a stress free time.
Favourite food: Fajitas
Favourite film: The Indiana Jones movies

Peter Cooney

Sponsored by Cooney Communications
Peter (25) comes from Gorey. A bank official, his hobbies include rugby, Gaelic football
and cricket with an interest in all sports. Peter says that describing himself is a tough
job saying he is an easy going relaxed person who is attentive to the needs of others.
He speaks highly of the training he has received in customer service practices. Peter
regards the ability to ensure my Rose is relaxed and totally at ease with everything that
is happening as fundamental to the role of the Escort.
Favourite food: Chicken & Pasta
Favourite film: Remember the Titans

Eugene Delaney

Sponsored by Dara Cash Registers Limited
Eugene (25) from Naas is an event management executive. Eugene lists tennis, basketball
and tag-rugby as activities he enjoys, he is also a qualified coach in tennis, football and
basketball. I am very outgoing with a good sense of humour and I enjoy the company of
friends is how he describes himself. Eugene is looking forward to ensuring my Rose has
an unforgettable time and to do everything I can to support her
Favourite food: Thai sweet and sour chicken
Favourite film: Zoolander and Wedding Crashers

Cornelious Dennehy

Sponsored by Dennehy Transport Services Millstreet
Cornelious (25) is from Millstreet. A haulier, he lists motor sport, poetry, listening to
music, singing and travelling as his hobbies. He says that his work requires being good with
people generally, being able to handle different situations as they arise and have a good
outlook. Cornelious loves to travel and hopes one day to publish a volume of his own
poetry. Being sociable and the perfect gentleman are key attributes for every Escort in
Cornelious opinion.
Favourite food: Indian
Favourite film: The Life of Brian

Kieran Doona

Sponsored by Tralee Townhouse
Kieran (26) who originally hails from Killarney, is a mad keen water sports man. A
graduate of Cork IT, Kieran is Purchasing Manager with a Kerry-based constructions
company. Rowing and Sailing are his chief leisure pursuits. Describing himself as honest,
friendly, easy going and game for a laugh Kieran includes learning how to fly as an
ambition. Hes looking forward to, as he says himself, just being there for my Rose.
Favourite food: Couldnt possibly choose just one
Favourite film: Toystory

Oliver Fegan

Sponsored by Accenture
Oliver (26), originally a Dubliner, is a Management Consultant and lives in London. A
man of many interests, his leisure pursuits include attending the Verona Opera Festival
annually as well as rugby, soccer, cycling, waterpolo, tennis and squash. Oliver plans
to cycle from Cairo to Cape Town in 2008 to raise funds for charity. Oliver has a simple
outlook on being an Escort I will ensure my Rose has the best possible time
Favourite food: Indonesian - the spicier the better!
Favourite film: La Vita Bella

Simon Hennessy

Sponsored by Our Ladys Childrens Hospital, Crumlin
Simon (24) comes from the redoubtable hurling village of Ballysimon, Co. Limerick and the
ancient national game features among his hobbies with basketball and boxing. Recently
qualified from UCD as a Veterinary Surgeon, he acknowledges that his five years on campus
has broadened my mind beyond animals Simon says he will ensure that his Rose is
always enjoying herself and always far from disappointment. He describes himself as
easy going, well mannered and always willing to give something a go.
Favourite food: Beef Satay
Favourite film: Glory.

Philip Kehoe

Sponsored by Sam McCauleys
Philip (30) is from New Ross. He works in the family animal feed business in addition to
being a tillage farmer and engages in some construction work. Motor racing, dancing,
skiing, reading, following GAA and rugby are preferred hobbies. Philip raced competitively
at the top level of Irish motor sport for 5 years and he describes himself as level
headed, genuine and honest. A fun person, but who treats everyone with respect. Being
there for your Rose and making sure you get her memories on camera are important
requirements for every Escort.
Favourite food: Everything is good on a cold day!
Favourite film: Armageddon.

David Mathews

Sponsored by Wireless Connect Limited
David (29) hails from Clogherhead, Co. Louth. An engineer by profession, David loves
to travel and in addition to other trips spent 7 months touring South East Asia, New
Zealand and Australia. Hiking, salsa dancing, scuba diving, basketball, GAA, reading and
photography complete his leisure interests. A future ambition would be to spend time
as a development worker in South East Asia. David is firmly of the opinion that an Escort
needs to be alert to what his Rose may need, whether that is throat lozenges or having a
camera at the ready.
Favourite food: Steak with peppered sauce
Favourite film: The Pursuit of Happiness

David McNeela

Sponsored by Engine Remanufacturing
David (30) is from Castlebar. An engine remanufacturing technician, David enjoys skiing,
water skiing and socialising generally. He has travelled extensively and a world tour tops
the list of things he wants to do. Down to earth and up for anything. A people person is
how he describes himself. David regards making sure my Rose is comfortable and relaxed
so that she will enjoy the unique experience of being a Rose as the key requirement for
an Escort.
Favourite food: Italian
Favourite film: Man bout Dog.

Colm Ceallachin

Sponsored by Wynns Hotel
Colm (26) is from Dublin city. An assistant manager in private banking, his leisure
activities include hurling, Gaelic football, soccer, cinema, going out with friends and
generally chilling. He is currently coach of the hurling team at his club, Na Fianna. Asked
Escorts Biogs
For Further information please contact COLM CROFFY 087 221 5406
to describe himself he lists 4 facets: friendly, full of life, sensitive and funny. His view
of the role of the Escort? do everything in my power to ensure my Rose has a fantastic
experience that will leave her with happy memories of the Festival.
Favourite food: A bar of Cadburys Dairy Milk
Favourite film: Love Actually.

Colm Laoire

Sponsored by John Torpy
Colm (26) is a Dubliner. A prosthetist/orthotist at Cappagh Hospital, Colm keeps in trim
through hurling, golf, basketball and running. He also likes to dance. Ambitions include
climbing Everest, completing a full triathlon and running the sub-3 hour marathon. I
would regard myself as a people person is how he describes himself. Supporting my
Rose so that she enjoys her experience as a Rose to the fullest will be Colms priority
as an Escort.
Favourite Food: Southern Italian
Favourite film: Life is beautiful.

Richard Owens

Sponsored by The Castles Stud
Richard (27) is a native of Galway City. A Dublin-based Garda, Richard ranks learning to
ride a motorcycle and being an Escort as two important ambitions. Now he is an Escort
perhaps he should petition the powers-that-be for that motorbike assignment! Richards
grew up surrounded by ponies and horses and he loves to show jump or ride with the
Galway Blazers or Tipperary Foxhounds. He says handling pressure is one of the many
personal strengths of the modern Garda.
Favourite Food: Chinese
Favourite film: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Ciarn OConnell

Newbridge Silverware Escort of the Year 2006
Ciarn (24) is a native of Corofin, County Clare. An engineer by profession, Ciarn was
voted Escort of the Year by the Roses in 2006. Ciarn will escort the 2006 International
Rose of Tralee Kathryn Feeney.

Damien ODonnell

Sponsored by Tech Skills Resources Limited
Damien (27) comes from Dublin. A Recruitment Consultant, Damien performs and teaches
guitar, is a member of the Gaiety School of Acting and enjoys working out in the gym. He
describes himself as patient, friendly and confident, qualities he regards as essential
for an Escort, in addition to doing everything possible to support my Rose. Why did he
choose to apply? My family has watched the Rose of Tralee for years and being an Escort
has been an ambition of mine.
Favourite Food: Thai
Favourite film: Big Fish.

Martin ONeill

Sponsored by TPS Limited and Smith & Wilson Pub
Martin (24) is a native of Cavan town. A busy accountant, Martin is a passionate Man Utd
fan while also playing soccer and GAA football locally. Keeping fit, running and swimming
are among his favourite activities, as are cinema and seeing bands play live. Coming from
a family of 8, he is well used to working in a busy team environment and is hoping to
prove to his Rose that Irish gentlemen are among the best in the world
Favourite Food: My Mums bacon
Favourite Film: Wedding Crashers

Tony Porter

Sponsored by Porter Christmas Tree Farms
Tony (22) is from Laragh, Co. Wicklow. Tony works with the Department of Environment
Heritage and Local Government, based in the Garden County of Ireland. Tonys ambition is
to continue his studies in landscaping and interior design. Im a passionate outdoor guy
who enjoys trekking in the mountains around Glendalough. For the past 2 years he has
put his skills to use for raising money for childrens charity Barretstown Castle.
Favourite food: Mums, especially Sunday dinner
Favourite film: The Wind that Shakes the Barley.

Nigel Purcell

Sponsored by Farran House Stud
Nigel (24) is a native of Tipperary and currently living in the UK where he works as a
Financial Analyst. He describes himself as approachable, chatty and witty and loves
a good conversation. Nigels diverse leisure pursuits include horse-riding, tennis and
attempting a dog sled race from Central Alaska to the western Baring Sea coast in Canada.
Favourite Food: Argentinean Steak from the grill
Favourite Film: Legends of the Fall

Mark Quaid

Sponsored by Mustard Seed Country House Hotel
Mark (29) is originally from Limerick. A manufacturing technical manager in the ICT sector
Mark has travelled very extensively (great experiences to share) in the Americas, Africa
and Asia. His hobbies are running, football, squash, tennis and golf. He describes himself
as funny, interesting and genuine Working in a demanding environment he would regard
patience and keeping calm are important traits. His ambitions? run a marathon,
represent my country in a sporting capacity and be the Escort for the winning Rose!.
Favourite Food: Pasta and chicken
Favourite Film: Crash

Derek Reilly

Sponsored by RE/MAX
Derek (27) is from Belmullet, Co. Mayo and is a self-made business man running a busy
auctioneering firm. Derek was the youngest President of a Chamber of Commerce in the
country. He is also a fire fighter. A Scuba diver, he loves nothing better than to explore the
clear waters of the western Atlantic. He believes an Escort should to be chivalrous and
know how to treat a lady. He hopes being an Escort will make his Mother proud!
Favourite Food: Mostly Italian Dishes
Favourite Film: Usual Suspects

John Riordan

Sponsored by
John (27) is from Ladyswell in Cork City. A Mortgage Broker by profession he admits that a
career as a professional surfer sounds very attractive! In addition to surfing, Johns leisure
activities include swimming, rugby and going to the cinema. John enjoys fine dining but
emphasises that the Quarter Pounder from Lennoxs chipper on the old Bandon Road in
Cork cannot be beaten!
Favourite Food: Lennoxs Quarter Pounder
Favourite film: Star Wars.

Dermot Skinnader

Sponsored by Laing ORourke Ireland Limited
Dermot (22) from Carndonagh on Donegals Inishowen Peninsula, has just obtained a
Masters Degree in Civil Engineering from Queens University Belfast and is working as a site
engineer in that city. While city living in Belfast has its advantages, especially the foreign
films, Dermot loves the lifestyle of his native place. Dermots views on the role of an
escort are very broad: provide a piggy back over a puddle or throat lozenges at 4.00am
or simply be a gopher.
Favourite food: freshly prepared fish and vegetables
Favourite film: Its a Wonderful Life

Declan Sweeney

Sponsored by The Silver Tassie Hotel
Declan (22) is from Letterkenny. A personnel officer in the aviation industry, Declan
describes himself as likeable, good humoured and can communicate well. I fit into all
types of company. His hobbies include soccer, Gaelic football and most sports. Movies
and socialising with friends are important too. Making sure my Rose is in the right place
at the right time, that things run smoothly and being a true Irish gentleman are Declans
list of core skills for an Escort.
Favourite food: Mammys cooking is hard to beat!
Favourite film: Lord of The Rings.

Mark Talbot

Sponsored by MG Construction
Mark (27) is from Roscrea, Co. Tipperary. Currently studying nursing at the University of
Limerick he also works as a Care Worker. Mark is a keen sports fan; something of a gym
bunny he captains his local senior club hurling team. Mark believes that his temperament
and personality will help him put his Rose at ease; up for a laugh and easy going he is
confident he can handle anything that comes his way.
Favourite food: Chicken
Favourite film: The Shawshank Redemption.

Morgan Tierney

Sponsored by AIB Dublin North Region
Morgan (29) is a native of Portumna, Co. Galway and works as a Bank Official with Allied
Irish Bank. He describes himself as fun, friendly and outgoing, an outgoing personality,
all required traits for an Escort! Morgans leisure pursuits include going out with friends,
playing golf and going to the cinema.
Favourite food: Italian cuisine
Favourite film: Happy Gilmore.

Cathal Tunney

Sponsored by Thermovac Plastics Limited
Cathal (23) is originally from Letterkenny. A graphic designer working in the advertising
industry in Belfast, Cathal regards being organised, calm and courteous and with a
supply of my Roses favourite sweets as important for an Escort. A traditional Irish fiddler
who enjoys photography, tennis and golf, Cathal is learning the art of cooking. Asked his
attributes Cathal included my conversational skills, currently unrivalled in the North
West, and my sense of humour!
Favourite food: Thai chilli noodles
Favourite film: Amlie (Le fabuleux Destin dAmlie Poulain).

Donal Twomey

Sponsored by Arthur Cox Solicitors
Donal (26) is originally from Ballinspittle in West Cork. A solicitor and tax consultant
with Arthur Cox Solicitors, Donal enjoys hurling & football, tag rugby, hill walking and
occasionally meditation. He likes to sing and recalls singing 15 songs in a row in a pub in
Cheltenham on Gold Cup night at the request of an Englishman who wanted to hear Irish
songs! Donal also devotes time to fundraising for charities. Im outgoing, good humoured
relaxed guy is how he sums himself up.
Favourite food: Italian meat balls
Favourite film: The Wind that shakes the Barley.

Gordon Weldon

Sponsored by Meath Tourism
Gordon (28) is from Navan. A teacher of special needs education, Gordon says that he
has a true sense of the importance of life through his work with children with different
educational challenges. Hobbies include Gaelic football, soccer, swimming, basketball and
mountaineering. Gaelic football has taken him to many places outside Ireland that gave
him a true sense of the pride of being Irish. Gordon describes himself as kind, caring
and generous and his motto is life is too short.
Favourite food: Sweet and sour chicken
Favourite film: A Beautiful Mind.

If I had to bang one of the escorts (without having seen a picture of him in advance) then I’d probably plump for Cornelious Dennehy. He seems like a serious burner.

The ladies.

Odds from Paddy Power for Top 14:

New York 4/1

Derry 6/1

Kerry 7/1

Wicklow 8/1

Liverpool 10/1

London 10/1

Newcastle Upon Tyne 12/1

Dubai 12/1

Texas 14/1

Limerick 16/1

Longford 16/1

Westmeath 16/1

Birmingham 18/1

Cork 20/1

There’s some pretty unflattering pictures there. Top 2 are the best and keeping with my earlier post about positivity toward the ladies, I assume the Kerry Rose must have an incredibly good personality if she’s rated third - that’s a fine gap between her teeth though.

The esteemed judging panel:

Bandage made an excellent point above. The judges will have adjudicated on presentation and dcorum over the entire week and not just the performances in front of the television cameras. Every year my biggest fear is that the result is queried by those of us less capable than the panel selected for these duties.

Oonagh as chairperson has 4 years’ experience behind her and brings a real professional class to the role. Sharon is obviously a more famous judge and I just hope she doesn’t bring an overly strong personality to the round-table discussions. Sen is a wonderful ambassador for Kerry. I know he’s a quiet, shy individual who shuns media attention but that’s why we should be so grateful to have him on board for this event. David is the local boy made good and it’s great to have someone there who will remeber all the festivals of yore. And finally what a treat to have Kirsty Flynn back after her tremendous win in 1993.

Oonagh Doyle
Newbridge Silverware

Oonagh is Sales Director at Newbridge Silverware and Chairperson of the 2007 Rose of Tralee Judging Panel. In her capacity as Sales Director of Newbridge Silverware Oonagh oversees the development of retail outlets across Ireland and the UK .
For the past 4 years Oonagh has been highly committed to the Rose of Tralee Festival and has carried out her role as Chairperson of the judging panel to great effect.
I thoroughly enjoy my role with the Rose of Tralee and admire all the amazing young ladies that participate in the event yearly said Oonagh
This truly is a unique celebration and I am very proud to be associated for the 4th
year running with Ireland`s premier heritage event.

Sharon N Bheolin

Sharon N Bheolin is co-anchor on RTEs 6:1 News, an award winning
journalist, she has worked as news reporter and presenter on RTE 2’s News 2
and Nuacht RTE. She also presented RTE’s popular Irish language series
Turas Teanga. She is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin.

Sean Kelly
Executive Chairman, Irish Sports Institute

Sean Kelly is currently Executive Chairman of the Irish Institute of Sport. He is the former president of the GAA being the first Kerryman to hold the office. He will always be associated with the opening of Croke Park to soccer and rugby which was an overwhelming success for all of Ireland this year.
He is married to Juliette and they have four children, Padraig (23), Mairead (21), Laurence (18) and Julie (12). The family live in Killarney.

David Slattery
CEO of Slatterys Travel

David Slattery is CEO of Slatterys Travel, Irelands largest tour
operator and one of Kerry’s biggest employers. Slatterys Travel is an
award winning, family owned company, with a catalogue of firsts in the
Irish travel industry. Slatterys Travel has revolutionised regional air
travel from Ireland and now fly from more Irish airports, including,
Waterford, Knock and Galway, than any other Irish airline. Slatterys
Travel operates Ireland’s only direct service from Ireland to South
Africa with a weekly flight from Dublin to Cape Town. As a born and bred Tralee native, David is honoured to be part of this years judging

Kirsty O’Shea (nee Flynn)
International Rose of Tralee 1993

After being crowned International Rose of Tralee 1993, Kirsty returned to Ireland and lived in her native Dublin for ten years where she predominantly worked as marketing manager for an Irish telecoms company. Itchy feet eventually took Kirsty to London where she now works for Goldman Sachs, the American Investment Bank, within the Financial Sponsors Group.
Kirsty married in May this year, and she and her husband plan to return to Ireland in the near future.
Kirsty has maintained her involvement with the Rose of Tralee at several regional selections over the years. This is her ninth festival since 1993 and she is delighted to be returning as a judge.

Early impressions:

Sorry to totally go back on what I posted earlier but this is awful.

The Dublin Rose, first up, was a fat frump. She’s part of a youth group and a devout church goer. She actually made an impassioned plea from the altar of her local church when she was only 19 to plead with the locals to get involved with community projects.

Next up was the Liverpool Rose who is an absolute stinker.

We need somebody to salvage this soon.

What the hell has Queenslsand done to her hair? She looked much better in the photos before she came out on stage.

The Limerick Rose has to be the best looking there, let’s hope the Cork and Kerry Roses have good personalities!!

What an awful bunch of munters. To watch this stuff i’ll have to get +10 beer goggles on me. The Texas bird looks like she could do a bit of damage Hopefully I’ll get a tip on this and clean up but christ I wouldnt want to tip up any of thees mares

Philip Kehoe won the Escort of the Year competition with Richie Owens and Gordon Weldon making up the top 3. A great day for Wexford.

Philip Kehoe
Sponsored by Sam McCauleys
Philip (30) is from New Ross. He works in the family animal feed business in addition to
being a tillage farmer and engages in some construction work. Motor racing, dancing,
skiing, reading, following GAA and rugby are preferred hobbies. Philip raced competitively
at the top level of Irish motor sport for 5 years and he describes himself as level
headed, genuine and honest. A fun person, but who treats everyone with respect. Being
there for your Rose and making sure you get her memories on camera are important
requirements for every Escort.
Favourite food: Everything is good on a cold day!
Favourite film: Armageddon.

who treats everyone with respect

Not everyone deserves respect, he’s a mug.

It’s such a shame this thread has descended into a negative commentary on the events of last night, especially considering my initial plea for all to remain upbeat.

I think it’s yet another follow on from Saipan that Ireland, as a nation, will no longer entertain second best. Last night’s ladies, while by no means being a vintage standard, would have been considered extremely adequate a decade ago.

However, it now appears that everyone is sitting at home transfixed and staring at their widescreen, plasma televisions waiting for a procession of Fidelmas from Glenroe to appear from the backstage area. We need to collectively recognise and accept the beauty of a girl like her is unique and expectations need to be lowered. It seems the girls last night were Martin Jol and the Irish TV audience were the Spurs’ Board of Directors.

What was plain to see though was irrefutable evidence, if any more was required, that this event is more than a mere Beauty Contest. I could tell that by the faces of most of the Roses.

A well deserved victory for New York, the favourite.

The NY rose ended up at a price of 14/1 by the end of betting, price changes in this event have the strangest patterns of anything I’ve ever seen.

The guy I was waiting on the tip from has just informed me that 2 days ago he got the NY rose at 18/1. Where was this information 2 days ago?!

I wouldn’t mind spending a bit of time with that NYC Rose, no matter what Flano says I think she’s very good looking, Red Head Value!!

Post edited by: BenShermin, at: 2007/08/22 20:47

Flano wrote:

The NY rose ended up at a price of 14/1 by the end of betting, price changes in this event have the strangest patterns of anything I’ve ever seen.

Yes, it seems quite odd. If I worked in Paddy Power I’d launch an immediate investigation.

On another note, Paddy Power will happily accept bets on what appears to be a fixed competition like The Rose of Tralee but they wouldn’t give me odds for Wrestlemania last April when I contacted them.

How does that make any sense?

They open books on staged entertainment but refuse to allow folk to bet on real sporting events like wrestling.


Wrestling, Fair City,

I’m starting to see a pattern forming here…

Wrestling, Fair City,

I dont see where you’re going with this…

They are both brilliant entertainment, if you could get Bella and Charlie inside the squared circle that is something I’d pay to see.