Rosemount native Rachel Duffy aims to blossom at famed Rose of Tralee Festival

There is a certain symmetry to this year’s Rose of Tralee Festival Westmeath contestant, Rachel Duffy hailing from the picturesque village of Rosemount in the heart of the county.

Selected as the Westmeath Rose in April, Rachel is in preparatory mode as her thoughts turn towards August and her participation in the much famed festival.

Presently promoting her Rose of Tralee presence at a local level, Rachel will journey south to Wexford on August 11 where she will commence her Rose tour during which she and her fellow contestants will visit numerous heritage locations prior to their arrival in the esteemed County Kerry town on Friday, August 19.

Speaking to the Athlone Advertiser this week, Rachel noted her pride as she spoke of her Rose of Tralee experience to date, anticipating the cherished memories to be made as the prestigious festival imminently awaits.

“I was one of the first Rose contestants selected for this year’s festival at a regional event hosted in the Mullingar Park Hotel. I had been advised by close friends to submit an application for the selection process, BUT I never thought that I would be chosen to represent Westmeath at the Rose of Tralee Festival. My aim is to savour these moments and create lasting memories in the time to come,” Rachel enthused.

The Rose of Tralee Festival will be broadcast live on Monday, August 22 and Tuesday, August 23, but prior to her appearance on national television, the Cill Óige ladies footballer will relish her participation in the international Rose Parade and the numerous occasions hosted in the County Kerry town to honour this year’s contestants.

“While viewers watch the contestants being interviewed by Daithi O’Se there is so much which goes on prior to our appearance on stage at The Dome. Preparatory interviews plus a host of festival engagements will be a regular occurrence, but while it will be an immensely busy period, I certainly aim to enjoy and savour this experience,” Rachel added.

In the process of becoming acquainted with her fellow Roses, Rachel, who will return to NUIG in September to study for her Masters in Spanish and English, noted that her selection as the Westmeath representative has enhanced her confidence levels and is firmly of the view that the Rose of Tralee Festival remains a popular occasion on both the national and international social calendar.

“During the selection process for the Westmeath Rose, the contestants were questioned with regard to the relevance of the Rose of Tralee Festival, but in unison, we all concurred that it should remain firm fixture on the social calendar as its hosting realises innumerable benefits for contestants and for the country.

“I feel such pride in the fact that I am representing my county at an internationally renowned event. The past two years has been difficult for so many and been selected as the Westmeath Rose has been a major boost on a personal level and has raised the spirits all those living in Rosemount.

“I want to give back to the tight knit community of Rosemount and bring some post Covid-19 joy during my time at the Rose of Tralee Festival - this is my aspiration,” Rachel concluded.

Community Support Event

The Westmeath Rose Centre will host a coffee morning in Rosemount Community Hall on Sunday, July 17, the proceeds from which will go towards Rachel’s Rose of Tralee cause.

Renowned for their community spirit, Rosemount residents can meet with Rachel on Sunday morning as the countdown continues to her live television appearance in The Dome in August.


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