Longford Rose Daphne Howard set for Regional Festival in Portlaoise this weekend

Aoife Carberry

Reporter:

Aoife Carberry

Longford Rose Daphne Howard pictured with Ken Johnston and John Wright at the launch of Longford Vintage Clubs annual Open Day, which takes place on Sunday, May 31. Photo by: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie
Daphne Howard is set to take the next step in her Rose journey this June Bank Holiday weekend, as she travels to Portlaoise for the Rose of Tralee Regional Festival.

Daphne Howard is set to take the next step in her Rose journey this June Bank Holiday weekend, as she travels to Portlaoise for the Rose of Tralee Regional Festival.

It’s been a rollercoaster few weeks for Daphne, who was crowned Longford Rose on April 25.

“I got to cut the ribbon for the Pieta House Darkness Into Light walk,” Daphne told the Leader this week. “It was really nice.”

Though she will miss out on their Open Day, Daphne was on hand to help Longford Vintage Club launch their annual event, and also officially launched the Longford Mental Health Association’s mini-marathon kit.

Though she has enjoyed her reign as Rose thus far, Daphne also suffered a great loss recently when her uncle passed away suddenly. According to Daphne, he was one of her biggest supporters and was looking forward to cheering her on in Portlaoise.

Daphne explained that she is being kept busy with preparations for the Regional Festival . These preparations included a promotional video which she ensured showed Longford at its best.

“I had to make my video as well for Portlaoise - that was kind of exciting!”

Eager to promote the best of Longford, Daphne had only 20 seconds to fill, but did her best to include some of the county’s highlights, from the N5 fiddle to her club, Clonguish Ladies’ recent victory and St Mel’s Cathedral.

Beyond that, Daphne has had to prepare an extensive wardrobe for the four-day festival, which runs from Thursday, May 28 to Sunday, May 31.

Thankfully, a number of supporters have stepped in to lend a hand in that department. “My mum has been a great help,” Daphne continued, adding that some of her headpieces have been sponsored by Amy Leslie and Wendy Louise Knight, while some dresses have been sponsored by Clara Ellen. Daphne’s friend Louise was also on hand to help deck Daphne out for the occasion. Meanwhile, Grafters and Dolls House Boutique have been taking care of all her hair and beauty needs.

Taking to the stage on the Sunday, several of Daphne’s family and friends, including some of her fellow Longford Rose contestants, are preparing to travel down to support her.

“It’ll be really nice to see them there and have the support,” she smiled.

Thrilled to hold the title of Longford Rose, Daphne is excited for the Regional Festival, but added, “I’m happy with what I’ve got so far.”