Tralee Native Helps Bring First Hong Kong Rose To Festival

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Hong Kong Rose, Clarissa Langley Coleman.

A TRALEE man has been instrumental in ensuring a first Hong Kong Rose is Tralee bound this year.

Clarissa Langley Coleman won the Hong Kong selection and will now travel to Tralee for the festival in August.

Marcus O’Connor, son of the late Florence O’Connor of Tralee — a well-known butcher, golf enthusiast and one of the original founders of the Festival — was delighted to bring the Rose of Tralee back to Asia, along with fantastic support from the local Irish community.

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Marcus, who has been in Hong Kong for the past 21 years, said: “Seeing the affection and support that the Irish community has had for the Rose of Tralee competition in Hong Kong has made me proud of my late father’s enduring legacy. Much like the Irish diaspora themselves, it has now travelled far and wide across the globe taking with it the spirit of what’s truly wonderful and unique about Kerry and Ireland. I wonder if on that fateful night in Harty’s Bar, if dad ever imagined his son looking on proudly, as Roses hoping to represent Hong Kong lit up the room.”

Clarissa, who’s grandmother is from Co Mayo, was born in Hong Kong and was raised in the US, Japan and Hong Kong and she is fluent in English, Chinese and Japanese.

A film producer and entrepreneur living in Hong Kong, Clarissa said that she was extremely excited to represent Hong Kong and hopes to sing her now trademark Danny Boy in the Chinese language in Tralee.

Clarissa Langley Coleman will be one of the 64 Roses from Ireland and Irish communities around the globe who will take part in the week-long festival before the 2017 Rose of Tralee is crowned in the Festival Dome live on RTÉ on Tuesday 22nd August.

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