Longford man to star as Rose of Tralee escort

Longford man to star as Rose of Tralee escort

One young Longford man has got what it takes to be the perfect gentlemen and has been selected to be among the 64 Rose Escorts at this year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival from 16 to 22 August.

Daniel Keogh (26), who already came through an interview process at the Glen Royal Hotel in Maynooth in April, was put through his paces over the June Bank Holiday Weekend at the annual Boot Camp along the Wild Atlantic Way in Kerry.

One young Longford man has got what it takes to be the perfect gentlemen and has been selected to be among the 64 Rose Escorts at this year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival from 16 to 22 August.

Daniel Keogh (26), who already came through an interview process at the Glen Royal Hotel in Maynooth in April, was put through his paces over the June Bank Holiday Weekend at the annual Boot Camp along the Wild Atlantic Way in Kerry.

The Killoe man had to pass a number of endurance tests and team-building exercises before he could graduate as a fully-fledged Rose Escort.

“It was a great weekend,” said Daniel, who is an electrician with ESB Networks.

“We got down there on Friday and we checked in to the Rose Hotel. We had a briefing in the morning.

“There was probably about 80 people, including the reserves and the escort chaperone team. So we got our official tshirts for it and then we handed in our phones, wallets, the  whole lot and went off into the wild.”

The lads had to carry out a range activities including a hike over Mount Brandon - Ireland’s second highest mountain - cliff diving, water-skiing, cycling, turf-footing, abseiling, kayaking, surfing, ironing and sewing in order to prove they will have the stamina to be a Rose Escort.

“We were divided up into our tents - six men per tent - and we had to go out and set up our own tents, light our own fire and cook our own food, which was steak and chicken and vegetables.

“The next day then, we climbed Mount Brandon, the second highest mountain in Ireland and after that we went to a local water sports, so kayaking and rafting, swimming, things like that.

“And then on the Sunday, we went back in to Tralee and some of us went to the fire station and others went to the bog.”

This year’s Rose Escort Boot Camp activities were supported by Kerry County Council and Kerry Civil Defence, under Civil Defence Officer Tom Brosnan, who played a major role in the transport and logistics of the event.

Over the course of the weekend, the Rose Escorts experienced the visitor facilities in Castlegregory, Derrynane, Waterville, Valentia Island, Dingle, Kerry Head and Tralee.

“If the boot camp is anything to go by, I’m looking forward to the big event,” Daniel told the Longford Leader last week.

“There are 64 lads. They’re all 100% gentlemen.

“We’re going to be very busy, from what I gather. We’ll often be on our feet for 16 hours straight.

“I’m just looking forward to meeting all the different people, to be honest, and hopefully we’ll maintain the standard of the festival over the last few years.”

Looking ahead to the year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival, one of the 64 lads will be selected as the Rose Escort of the Year live on RTÉ One on August 21.

The 2016 Escort of the Year, John Slowey from Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, said: “Having been selected as the Escort of the Year was nothing short of a great honour. The opportunity to represent a fantastic group and to accompany our Rose of Tralee, Maggie McEldowney, at numerous events has been a brilliant experience.

The 2017 Rose of Tralee International Festival will take place from 16-22 August

Full details are available from www.roseoftralee.ie, Facebook and Twitter @roseoftralee_.