AN Italian Chef, a reporter on the Nicky Byrne Show on RTÉ 2FM, a Garda and the son of the
1988 Boston Rose have made the cut to be Rose Escorts at the 2016 Rose of Tralee
Peter Capocci, Carl Mullan, Patrick Browne and James Johnston respectively, were among
the 65 guys who will be the Rose Escorts to 65 Roses taking part in this year’s extended
Festival from 17-23 August in Tralee.
The lads were put through their paces over the Bank Holiday Weekend at the annual Boot
Camp in Dingle, Ballybunnion and Castlegregory along the Wild Atlantic Way in Kerry.
The Rose of Tralee International Festival’s Communications Manager, John Drummey, said:
“The Rose Escorts spent three days in Kerry where they undertook a number of endurance
tasks to prepare them for the festival in August. It was not because the ladies love Milk Tray
but because the lads prefer Roses. Over 200 men aged between 21 and 30 applied to
become Rose Escorts at this year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival and following a
detailed interview process, the final 65, the most ever, were selected to take part in a Boot
Camp weekend in the Kingdom to help them cope with the demands of a busy week in
The lads had to carry out a range tasks including a cycle over Connor Pass, a hike up Mount
Brandon, turf-footing, abseiling, kayaking, surfing, ironing and sewing in order to prove they
will have the stamina to be a Rose Escort.
This year’s Rose Escort Boot Camp activities were supported by Kerry County Council and
Kerry Civil Defence, under Civil Defence Officer Tom Brosnan, who played a major role in the
transport and logistics of the event.
The Rose Escorts experienced the visitor facilities in Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre,
Blennerville Windmill and Tralee Ship Canal, Tralee Town Park, Ballybunnion Seaweed
Baths, Crag Caves in Castleisland, Aqua Dome Tralee and Manor West Hotel.
Dingle Distillery, Jamie Knox Watersports, Castlegregory Community Hall, The Rose Hotel
and Kirby’s Brogue Inn Tralee also played their part in making the Boot Camp a memorable
weekend for the men.
Nearly the whole country has been represented with the Escorts hailing from 26 out of the
32 counties and one of the lads will be selected as the Rose Escort of the Year live on RTÉ
One on Monday 22nd August.
The 2015 Escort of the Year, Shane Kenny from The Spa, Tralee, Co Kerry, said: “Having been
selected as the Escort of the Year was nothing short of a great honour. The opportunity to
represent a fantastic group and to accompany our Rose of Tralee, Elysha Brennan, at
numerous events has been a brilliant experience. I’ve travelled extensively attending many
charity events and Rose reunions while also working closely with a fantastic Rose of Tralee
Team who couldn’t have done any more for me. I’ve made memories and friendships that
will be cherished forever.”
The 2016 Rose of Tralee International Festival will take place in Tralee from 17-23 August
when a full line-up of free and affordable entertainment is planned including concerts
featuring Reggie N Bollie, Nathan Carter, Hometown, Hudson Taylor, Hermitage Green, The
Willis Clan, Ronan Collins Showband Show, televised selections presented by Dáithí Ó Sé,
Fashion Show, three parades, two fireworks displays and an Air Show.
Full details of this year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival are available from
www.roseoftralee.ie, Facebook and Twitter @roseoftralee_