The Irish Rugby legend Ronan O’Gara and the 32 Rose of Tralee escorts were guests of honour at an exclusive performance of the Royal Monaco Boys Choir in the Newbridge Silverware Visitor Centre on Wednesday last.
The 32 escorts were presented with a selection of pieces from the Gents Style Collection before enjoying to the dulcet tones of the Monaco Boys Choir – the official Boys Choir of the Principality of Monaco.
Newbridge man Will McGrath, 24, pictured in the front row, extreme right, above, is back in his role as one of the Rose of Tralee escorts.
The visual communications student is a veteran Rose escort, having accompanied the Tralee contestants on their trips to the Dome for the past couple of years.
Rugby star Ronan will crown the winning Rose on stage, in the Dome, on August 21 next.
Newbridge Silverware is a lead sponsor of the competition.
There is a strong connection between Monaco and the Newbridge Silverware Visitors Centre. Garments worn by Princess Grace during her movie career are on display at the centre. Princess Charlene of Monaco also visited the centre to view the clothes shortly before her marriage to Prince Albert.
“We wish each individual escort a most enjoyable and memorable festival experience,” said Phil Donnelly of Newbridge Silverware.
The Escort of the Year will win a cheque for E5,000 and other prizes from Newbridge Silverware.
Escort co-ordinator with the Rose of Tralee International Festival, Colm Croffy said: “The 32 escorts have already been put through their paces at the annual Boot Camp in the beautiful mountains and waterways of Kerry. They are now experts in the art of holding hand-bags, lipstick and hairspray but most importantly – they are the perfect gentlemen who will be ever present to assist their lovely Roses in Tralee.”
Among the class of 2012 to chaperone the 32 Roses are some gardaí, medical students, teachers, farmers and a nurse.