Sheep shearing and turf cutting are among the new skills necessary for a young Lurgan man who has made the grade to be a Rose Escort at the Rose of Tralee International Festival this year.
Nicholas Gogarty, who is originally from Lurgan, now works as an accountant with Kerry Group in Tralee, and was among the group of 32 lads who made it through the rigorous Rose of Tralee Boot Camp for Escorts last weekend.
“The Rose Escorts spent 48 hours in picturesque Kenmare, Co Kerry, where they learned to shear sheep, cut turf, build a dry stone wall, peel spuds and make poitin,” said John Drumney, Communications Manager for The Rose of Tralee International Festival.
“Nearly 200 men, aged between 21 and 30, applied to become escorts at this year’s Rose of Tralee. Following a detailed interview process, the final 32 were selected to take part in a Boot Camp in Kenmare to help them prepare for a busy week in Tralee.”
On 17 August, one of the thirty two escorts will be announced as the Newbridge Silverware Escort of the Year 2015, and he will walk away with a wonderful prize - including a silver plated cutlery canteen personalised with his family crest and a cheque for €1,000.
Conor Walsh, who was named Escort of the Year in 2014, explained just how coveted a prize it is: “Having been selected as the Escort of the Year was nothing short of a great honour. I’ve travelled to Belarus and countless reunions, while also working closely with a fantastic team.”
The 2015 Rose of Tralee Festival will take place in Tralee from 14-18 August, when a full line-up of free and affordable entertainment is planned - including music from Hudson Taylor, a variety of parades and several fireworks displays. For full festival details, visit www.roseoftralee.ie