The reigning international Rose of Tralee who comes from Dallas in Texas visited Newcastle to launch this year’s County Down Rose competition.
Hayley O’Sullivan arrived at the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa and met members of the Saul Ballad Group who are scór champions, and after listening to a couple of their songs, enjoyed a morning cup of coffee looking out into the blustery, cold sea across the bay at Newcastle.
Hayley said: “You can access the County Down Rose Facebook page for details of how to apply. Basically, a contestant has to genuine, open to new expriences, be able to give the time, enjoy the fun, and participate in the process.
“It is not a beauty pageant, but more to do do with the personality of the contestant.
“It is a great experience, and the girls all make great friends through taking part in the Rose of Tralee contest.
“The final for the Down Rose will be held in the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa on 27 April.”
Hayley first learned about the Rose of Tralee competition when she was a member of her own Gaelic club back in Texas. “I play Gaelic football,” she smiled. “I entered the Rose of Tralee because it looked to be so much fun, even just the taking part.
“This is my first time over to County Down and I’d certainly like to spend a holiday year. The Mourne’s and the countryside look so beautiful.”
Down Rose organiser Gareth McGreevy, who himself was an escort to the Down Rose in his younger days, is looking forward to many County Down Rose hopefuls stepping forward. He said: “This is a great opportunity for young ladies to step forward and represent County Down even on the global stage.
“There are many opportunities that can emerge from this event such as supporting a charity or fundraising for a good cause. And even after the event, it opens doors again. Last year we had 24 entrants and the winner was Sarah McKegney from Carryduff who has had a great year.
“So get your nemes in as soon as possible. This will be another fun contest.”
You can contact The Down Rose Centre on email:
or phone Gareth McGreevy directly on 07786837198.
Or PM through Facebook: Down Rose Centre