Kilkenny men Alan Grincell and Paul Kelly to be escorts at this year's Rose of Tralee

Cats ready for Kerry festival

Sean Keane


Sean Keane


Alan to be an escort

Alan Grincell (26), Kilkenny came though a boot camp and interview process to become an escort at the Rose of Tralee

Two Kilkenny men who have been selected as rose escorts at the 2018 Rose of Tralee International Festival have begun their preparations for the life-changing trip to Kerry’s Capital in August.

Alan Grincell (26) and Paul Kelly (29) made the cut following the Rose Escort Boot Camp which took place along the Wild Atlantic Way in Kerry over the Bank Holiday Weekend.

The lads, who already came through an interview process at the Glen Royal Hotel in Maynooth in April, had to pass a number of endurance tests and team-building exercises before they could graduate as fully-fledged Rose Escorts.

The Rose Escorts spent three days in Kerry where they undertook a number of gruelling, yet fun, tasks to prepare them for the festival in August.

The Boot Camp weekend in the Kingdom is a team-building exercise that is also designed to help them cope with the demands of a busy week in Tralee. We are particularly grateful to our friends in Kerry County Council for putting together such a packed programme of activities throughout the magnificent Kingdom of Kerry.”

The lads, all aged 21 to 30, had to carry out a range activities including a hike over Mount Brandon - Ireland’s second highest mountain - cliff diving, water-skiing, cookery, swimming, 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 and Kerry Fire Service, who played a major role in the transport and logistics of the event.

Over the course of the weekend, the Rose Escorts experienced the visitor facilities in Castlegregory, Ballyheigue, Banna Strand, Dingle, Kerry Head, Tralee. 

The 2018 Rose of Tralee International Festival will take place from Friday 17th to Tuesday 21st August, while the Rose Escorts will need to be in place to welcome the Roses to Kerry on Wednesday 15th August.