Maria Launches Regional Rose Of Tralee Festival In Laois

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Rose of Tralee, Maria Walsh, launching the Rose of Tralee Regional Competition in Portlaoise. Photo by Domnick Walsh

NEARLY 60 ladies from all over the world will descend on County Laois for the 2015 Rose of Tralee Regional Festival from  May 28-31.

Rose of Tralee, Maria Walsh, launched the event today in the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel.

Twenty-three places in the Festival Dome Tralee next August are on the line for the 59 Roses taking part in three selection nights hosted by RTÉ Rose of Tralee Presenter, Dáithí Ó Sé in the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel.

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It’s the eighth year for Portlaoise to host the Rose of Tralee Regional Festival, which will feature the Gordon Bennett Irish Classic Car Run, Street Party, Outdoor Markets and visits to landmark locations throughout Laois.

The Festival highlights include the official opening of the event in the Civic Plaza on Friday 29th, Vintage Car Parade of Roses and their Rose Buds followed by Streets Party on Saturday 30th and the annual visit to Abbeyleix and Castle Durrow on Sunday 31st May.

The Roses and their families will also visit some well-known Laois landmarks such as Castle Durrow, Emo House & Gardens and a range of entertainment events in the local hostelries.

The Executive Chairman of the Rose of Tralee International Festival, Anthony O’Gara, said: “The generous support and commitment of Laois County Council and the people of Laois has seen this event flourish and grow to what is now a major highlight on the Rose of Tralee calendar. The Portlaoise Heritage Hotel, Maldron Hotel Portlaoise, Castle Durrow Country House Hotel and Coppers Late Bar have been outstanding hosts. We are grateful to the people of Laois who have opened their towns to welcome the friends, supporters and families of the Rose of Tralee for nearly a decade.”

The Regional Festival was introduced in 2004 to offer more people an opportunity to participate in the Rose of Tralee International Festival. This has been a resounding success as the number of Rose Centres has grown to 70 and the event is a well-established and prestigious part of the process to finding the next Rose of Tralee.

At the end of the weekend, 23 Roses – seven Irish and 16 International – will be selected to progress to take part in the Rose of Tralee International Festival in August.

The three Regional Selection Qualifying nights will take place at the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel on 29, 30 and 31 May, and tickets will go on sale on Friday 1st May from

The 2015 Rose of Tralee International Festival will take place in Tralee from Friday 14 to Tuesday 18 August.

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