Last week Australian Rose Tara Talbot was crowned as the new Rose of Tralee, and during her time in the competition the man who was tasked with attending to her during the week was a local man!
Keeping all of Tipp glued to their televisions were two of the Roses themselves, who were from the county - all of whom will be hoping the county can go one better this weekend and take home the top prize of the Liam McCarthy Cup.
Kilsheelan native Jim Healy had a memorable week. Selected as an Escort for the Rose of Tralee International Festival, he was paired with the Queensland Rose Tara Talbot. His brief was to care for her and her family for the duration of the festival and to escort her to the Rose Ball, the parades and all other functions.
They got on famously together, culminating in Tara being crowned Rose of Tralee for 2011.
Jim was also among the final three escorts nominated for Escort of the Year, losing out to Peter Sands.
He now wishes his Rose Tara all the best for the year ahead. To him she was the epitome of a Rose from the very beginning and a deserving winner.
He feels it will take him weeks to recover and come down from the high.
Jim works with the Irish Business Employers Confederation (IBEC) as an Industrial Relations/Human Resources executive.
Taking part in the Rose of Tralee festival as contestants were Niamh O’Connell, from Ballinlina, Golden, and Noirin Ryan, from Clonoulty.
Both girls have strong GAA ties and will be hoping for big things from the Tipp hurlers this Sunday.
Noirin, who was the Tipperary Rose, is sister of Tipperary hurling manager Declan Ryan and played camogie for Tipp at underage levels. In 2010 she captained the Junior A County Tipperary Camogie Team, champions same year. This year she was on the Tipperary Intermediate Camogie panel. She is now a practising occupational therapist.
Niamh, the Sunderland Rose, who is now based in that city, played camogie at underage level before leaving Ireland. Daughter of Michael and Margaret, she is now a full time student at Sunderland University where she is studying for a Masters in Pharmacy. She is captain of the University of Sunderland Woman’s first team and president of the university hockey club.