All eyes will be on Offaly Rose Eleanor Sutton this weekend, as she looks to become the first Offaly Rose to make it to Tralee.
Twenty-six year old Eleanor is one of 60 Roses who will be interviewed by Rose of Tralee host Daithi O’Se at the regional final in Portlaoise over the June bank holiday weekend, with 23 of those Roses going forward to the international festival in Tralee in August.
“Since I was selected as the Offaly Rose for 2014 I’ve found that people have been very interested to meet and congratulate me,” Eleanor, a dietician based at the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore, said. “I have been inundated with questions about the Rose of Tralee.”
Eleanor will have support from parents Billy and Paula and sisters Jenny (24) and Aoife (19) at the event. No doubt her friends and neighbours from just outside Dunkerrin will also be rooting for Eleanor, alongside the wider Offaly community.
Roses representing 29 counties in Ireland, 13 regions in the US, Scotland, eight major cities in England, Melbourne, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Oman, Canada, Luxembourg and Germany will all take part in the regional final in Portlaoise.
The weekend event will include three selection nights at the Heritage Hotel, an Irish music evening at the Maldron Hotel, a vintage car parade, a funfair, a street disco and a visit to Castle Durrow.
The winners of the weekend will go forward to join Roses from Kerry, Cork, Dublin, Sydney, New Zealand, Darwin, Perth, Queensland and South Australia at the Rose of Tralee Festival, which takes place in Tralee from August 15 to August 19.
Details of how to book tickets for Rose of Tralee events in Portlaoise and Tralee are available by visiting www.roseoftralee.ie or calling the festival office on 066 7121322.