Mayo Rose is a strong contender to take Rose of Tralee title
By Geraldine Carr
Mayo is well represented in this year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival with four visiting roses having Mayo roots as well as our very own Mayo Rose, Dervla Kenny, one of the favourites to take the coveted title.
The Philadelphia and Denver Roses both have Mayo heritage, Darwin Rose’s family is from Belmullet, and the Perth Rose is from Ballina.
However, Mayo eyes will be transfixed on Ballyvary’s Dervla who is the bookies third favourite to win with odds of 13/2 available at Paddy Power’s.
Should Dervla be crowned the 2012 Rose of Tralee she will join an elite group of Mayo winners including Aoibhinn Ní Shuilleabháin, Luzveminda O'Sullivan and Marita Staunton.
The 32 Roses taking part in the 2012 Rose of Tralee International Festival brightened up an overcast Westport on Wednesday as they arrived at the Carlton Atlantic Coast Hotel as part of their tour before they head to Tralee. This was the first time that all of the Roses made a visit to Westport.
After their warm welcoming reception at The Quay, the Roses had time to prepare themselves for an evening of entertainment, which culminated with a fireworks display over Clew Bay.
Before their photo shoot in the foyer of the hotel, Mayo Rose Dervla Kenny (26)—who is daughter of Maureen Kenny and Councillor Henry Kenny, God daughter to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, and works as an occupational therapist at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dun Laoghaire—took time out to speak to the Mayo Advertiser.
“We’ve been having an absolute ball, it’s been great fun,” especially touring around Ireland and staying with The Carlton Hotel Group, “who have pulled out all the stops for us Roses.”
Dervla explained that her sister Deirdre entered her in to the Mayo Rose Selection and “now here I am”.
Asked what her highlight so far was, Dervla said that: “On a local level it was going back to my national school, Ballyvary NS to raise their Green Flag and also visiting Cuan Chaitriona Nursing Home, where my grandmother was resident for a number of years.”
One of the most exciting parts of the Rose contest is of course wearing some fabulous dresses. On Wednesday, Dervla was wearing a dress sponsored by Beverly Hills and a sparkling headpiece from Edel Staunton Millinery. Carraig Donn has also sponsored her some dresses. When asked what she would be wearing on stage in Tralee, Dervla said that it is being kept under wraps, but it is from Beverly Hills, Castlebar. She said that she is not too nervous about the big night as Daithi Ó Sé is “a lovely person to interview us and puts us at ease.”