Henry Healy is a Rose of Tralee Escort
He’s already escorted the US President around Moneygall and now Henry Healy is going to do the same for a lovely girl after being chosen as one of 32 Rose of Tralee Escorts.
“It was this year or never,” Henry, who celebrates his 29th birthday on August 16 in the middle of the Rose of Tralee festival, said. “Once you hit 30 you can’t become an Escort so I said I’d grab the opportunity this year with both hands.”
The week-long festival, which runs from August 14 until August 20 ,will not be about him however.
“It’s about the Roses,” he promised. “We’re there to ensure that the Roses have an enjoyable experience and that they don’t have to worry about anything.”
Though Henry says he’s always thought about applying to become an Escort, the seed was really sown at an Offaly Rose selection night in Moneygall earlier this year.
On the night four men including Henry decided to apply. Three managed to fill in application forms, but Henry was the only one of the four who actually submitted it.
Almost 200 other men between the ages of 21 and 30 applied to become a Newbridge Silverware Escort this year, but Henry beat off competition to become one of 32 selected via an interview process and later a bootcamp weekend in Ballybunion.
In Henry’s Escort biography he’s described as a community activation leader with 'Ireland Reaching Out’ as well as PRO of Moneygall Development Association and chairman of Moneygall FC.
His interests include drama, going to the cinema and attending hurling and soccer games, while his ideal holiday is Disneyworld Florida and Las Vegas. Henry names his favourite book as Ryan Tubridy’s 'JFK in Ireland’, and his favourite film as 'White Chicks’.
Henry isn’t the only Offaly Escort at this year’s festival, however. He will be accompanied by David Carroll from Cappincur. Captain of Cappincur GAA team for the past two years, David is also a fan of folk music and says he can give a good rendition of 'Raglan Road’.
The financial lines insurance underwriter has a keen interest in sport and fitness and has in the past taken part in a 67km adventure race and the 'Hell and Back’ peak challenge. He has also volunteered in the past at the Mother Theresa Centre in Mumbai.
David dreams of one day cycling across America, and holidaying “off the beaten track”. His favourite film is 'The Departed’, while his favourite book is 'Kings of September’ about Offaly’s famous win over Kerry back in 1982.
Henry and David will also be joined by Tullamore RFC player and coach Colin Draper from Kilbeggan, who works as a secondary school teacher in Wilson’s Hospital School near Mullingar.
The Escorts won’t find out which Rose they will be accompanying until they get to Tralee, but Henry says regardless of who they’re paired with the Escorts will do their job.
“We’re willing and we’ll be able to fulfill any of their requests and make sure they enjoy their time in Tralee,” he said, adding that the Roses will “hopefully go back home - wherever that may be - happy and remembering a fantastic week in Ireland”.
More details on all of the International Roses, Escorts and Rose of Tralee Festival events are available at www.roseoftralee.ie, on Facebook and on Twitter @roseoftralee_.