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The 2023 Kerry Community Rose Selections were officially launched this week at the Meadowlands Hotel, Tralee, with the announcement that Recovery Haven Kerry will benefit from funds raised at the first official Tralee Community Rose Selection. This will take place on the 12th of March in the Meadowlands Hotel, with seven other Community Rose events being held around the county contributing to many more very worthy local causes.

This year, the Rose of Tralee International Festival is starting a new Community Rose initiative.

“Our focus will be to collaborate with local communities across the county to hold Community Rose Selections, and through that process to support community fundraising in each of those areas. We want to put community at the heart of the Rose Festival. It already connects the global Irish diaspora, and this is a fantastic opportunity to extend that reach to include communities across Ireland in that celebration. This new format makes the process of becoming a Rose or Rose Escort much easier and involves a fun local event for family and friends to show their support and community spirit.”

Back L-R. Kathleen Collins, Recovery Haven Kerry, Édaein O’Connell, 2022 Kerry Rose, Suzan O’Gara, Kerry Rose Centre Coordinator Front Row. John Griffin, Meadowlands Hotel



“The Kerry Rose Centre are delighted to be helping to raise funds county wide, and to shine a light through our Tralee Community Rose event on the work of the wonderful Recovery Haven for the significant impact that they have on the lives of Cancer patients and their families and friends throughout the Kingdom,” said Suzan O’Gara, Kerry Rose Centre Co-ordinator and Festival Director.

“The Tralee Community Rose Selection is one of eight local community events taking place in the lead up to this year’s Kerry Rose Selection on Sunday the 14th of May, with each Community Selection supporting a different local project or cause in need of fundraising, and we plan to include even more Kerry communities as we expand the programme further over the next three years, so it’s going to be a busy time!”

“In the spirit of supporting local and creating a positive community buzz in each of these locations, we are inviting all interested young women between 18 and 29 years of age, and young men aged 21 to 31, to send in their application forms as soon as possible to ensure they’re on time to enter their local Community Rose selection events.”

Plans to introduce the new ‘Community Rose’ events were first revealed by Festival Chief Executive Anthony O’Gara following the Rose of Tralee’s hugely successful, post-pandemic, return last August. “Celebrating our Irish culture, and the positive contribution that Irish people make at home and abroad is a real privilege and we are most grateful for the incredible support we have received over the last eight decades. As we look to the future, it is our goal to support the fundraising efforts of local Irish communities and to continue to showcase the incredible contribution of great Irish women globally.”

This new national initiative means that towns and villages across the country will play host to experienced Rose of Tralee events teams, who will produce fantastic local fundraising selection nights to find a Rose – and Rose Escort – to go forward to their respective counties’ selection events.

“Everyone at Recovery Haven Kerry is absolutely thrilled to be the chosen charity for this year’s inaugural Tralee Community Rose Selection and we are so excited to join forces with the Rose of Tralee team for what we know will be a really fun and exciting event in Tralee in March,” said Recovery Haven’s PR & Marketing officer, Marisa Reidy.

“We are blessed to have a wonderful working relationship with the Rose of Tralee committee, in particular on our annual Celebration of Light ceremony, so we were truly honoured and excited when we were invited to be part of this new aspect of the world-renowned festival.  The donation made from the Tralee Community Rose competition will allow us to continue our work in offering free cancer support services to the people of Kerry and beyond, so we would really love if the young ladies and gents in the Tralee area would get on board to represent their local community and to show their support by signing up to take part in the selection.”

The confirmed Kerry Community Rose events are due to take place in Sneem, Killorglin, Kenmare, Tralee, Killarney, the ‘Skellig Coast’, Castleisland and Listowel throughout the month of March.

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Selected Community Roses will hold their titles for a year and will also progress to take part in County Rose Selections where if selected, they will go on to represent their communities and counties on the International stage during the main Rose of Tralee Festival in August.

While not all Community Roses can or will make it to the International Festival, they will wear the sash and remain as ambassadors of their locality at various local events throughout the year.

Winning Community Rose Escorts, who will be selected via a fun voting process, will take part in the County Selection event, and will be guaranteed an interview to be an official Rose Escort at the main Festival in August and of course attend the popular Rose Escort Bootcamp in June.

“Of course this isn’t an entirely new concept for Tralee. If we look back to the early days of the Festival, there was always a Kerry Rose AND a Tralee Rose right up until 1988, and the only time in the Festival’s history that a representative from the Kingdom happened to win the Rose of Tralee was in fact when Tralee Rose, Margaret O’Keeffe took the title in August of 1964. It is time for Kerry to take that spotlight once more!” added Ms O’Gara.

The 2023 Rose of Tralee International Festival will take place from August 18 – 22.

Applications to enter the 2023 Community Rose Selections for both Roses and Rose Escorts are now officially open. Visit for details or contact the Kerry Rose Centre team on any of their social media platforms.

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