Festival Countdown: Mark’s All Set For His Escort Service

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Mark Sheehy 1

Mark Sheehy will be seeing a lot of the Dome over the coming week as a Rose Escort. Photo by Dermot Crean

WHAT a week in store for Mark Sheehy.

The only homegrown Rose Escort, Mark, from Blackrock, is preparing to be the perfect gentleman to a lucky Rose for the duration of the Festival and he can’t wait to get started.

The 26 year old UCD Commerce student joined the 31 other escorts last night for final preparations, before they are assigned to their Roses before the Ball on Friday.

So why did Mark sign up for this in the first place?

“My friend Rosie McGrath was going for the Kerry Rose at the time and she suggested I go for it and I thought maybe that’s not a bad idea considering my grandmother, Mary Loughran has asked me to go for it every year since I was 19!” said Mark, speaking to TraleeToday.ie at the Fels Point Hotel on Wednesday.

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Abbey Inn Festival

“I thought about it and considering I might not be in Ireland after I finish my degree next year and it could be my last chance to experience it, I decided to go for the interview. I think I might have been the only Tralee guy in the hat for it so they had to give it to me!” Mark joked.

Having grown up with the Festival,  Mark is really looking forward to it.

“My earliest memories of it are staying up until midnight for the fireworks on the night the Rose was picked. It was a real treat. Then later we used to be allowed down to the carnival across from the old cinema which was always great fun. Then from 16 or 17 onwards it was party time. From the Friday to the Tuesday it was always the best time of the summer,” said Mark, whose parents are Deirdre and John Joe Sheehy.

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Blasket Festival 2

Mark has got great sponsorship from the Oyster Tavern and New Yorkers over the past few months. A special fundraising quiz was also held for him in the Oyster.

“We had a great night. Kieran Donaghy was the MC and the Kerry Rose, Mary Hickey, drew tickets for the raffle,” he said.

Since then Mark has been to the Rose Escort Bootcamp in May where he got to meet and bond with the rest of the lads.

“That was really enjoyable. It was a time for all of us to meet and there was a great team mentality about it,” he said.

The escorts met up to get fitted for their tuxedos on Wednesday and they were to get some tips from the beauty experts in CH Chemists on Thursday to prepare to cater for the needs of the Roses.

All set then Mark?

“Yeah, it should be a great week. I’ve lived with the Festival all my life and it’ll be great to be on the other side to experience it.”

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