Two local men will be flying the Midlands flag in Tralee this August when they take on the role of escorts for the 50th annual Rose of Tralee festival.
In the absence of a Westmeath rose in this year’s competition, Gordon Ward from Mullingar and Ronan Keary from Ballinasloe will provide a local interest for viewers from the Midlands.
The gentlemen have been chosen among 50 escorts for this year’s competition, and will be expected to cater to their appointed Roses’ every need for the duration of the festival, which runs from August 21-29.
For Mullingar postman Gordon Ward, it will be his second year to accompany a candidate at the Tralee event
The seasoned escort is back by popular demand, having taken part in last year’s festival when he escorted the Philadelphia Rose Colleen Tully.
Gordon describes himself as “trustworthy, hardworking, kind, honest, considerate, a good listener, supportive, and a good mixer”, and enjoys rallying, playing soccer, travelling, the cinema, socialising and meeting new people.
The Mullingar man’s favourite film is Groundhog Day and favourite food “his Granny’s brown bread”.
Meanwhile Ronan, from Ballinasloe, works as a bank official at AIB bank in Athlone and is currently studying for Qualified Financial Advisor status.
He is a fan of “nearly all sports” (although still can’t get his head around cricket ) and his ambitions include travelling more, learning to play the drums, and learning how to make a profit on farming.
In keeping with the family theme, Ronan says his favourite food is his Mam’s Irish stew, and Borat is his favourite film.
The duo are also in with a chance of walking away from this year’s Rose of Tralee festival with the coveted ‘Escort of the Year’ title, which comes with a cheque for €1,000 and a James Bond-style weekend away.
The winner will be announced on the first of the Rose of Tralee selection nights on Tuesday August 25.