Rose Escort Selection is a Dream Come True for David

Kerry Rose Celine O’Shea is presented with a black granite plaque to mark her year as Rose of Tralee finalist by Rose Escort, David O’Connor and his father Gerard at their Castleisland based Monumental Works. ©Photograph: John Reidy
Tea for Two: The Country Market Proprietor, Alice Fitzgerald pouring tea for Kerry Rose, Celine O’Shea and 2018 Rose Escort, David O’Connor during Ms. O’Shea’s visit to Castleisland during the summer. ©Photograph: John Reidy

For the second successive year, a Castleisland man has been chosen to the panel of ‘Rose Escorts’ for next week’s Festival of Kerry / Rose of Tralee Competition.

Last year, Castleisland native, Tomás Lynch won escort of the year at the festival.

Ballymacelligott resident, David O’Connor is a member of the well known and generations old family business of Castleisland based stone-cutters, O’Connor Memorials and he spent the past four years working in the construction industry in Canada.

Life-long Friends

“It was a great experience for me and one from which I have made lifelong friends,” said David.

“Now that I have the travelling bug out of my system I’m back working in the family business as a stone-cutter.

“I’m a on the go kind of person and when I’m not at work I like to keep busy. My hobbies include walking the dog, boxing and playing soccer.

“Being selected as a rose escort has been an ambition of mine for a long time now and I’m really looking forward to the week’s excitement ahead.

Festival Sponsors

“I don’t know yet which of the Roses I’ll be escorting but Kerry Rose and Foilmore native, Celine O’Shea visited festival sponsors, O’Connor Memorials and The Country Market in Castleisland during the summer.

“My job is to make sure my Rose’s week is as memorable and as smooth as possible.

“I’d like to thank my dad’s business, O’Connor’s Monumental Works and Alice at The Country Market for their sponsorship of our big week,” said a delighted David.

With Her Own Name There
David put his trade to good use as soon as he learned that he’d been selected as an escort.

In preparation for Celine O’Shea’s visit, he set to work on a tablet of black granite and carved her name and her festival of Kerry 2018 status on it.

Along with his dad Gerard, David presented the stone to the Rose who will carry the hopes of Kingdom supporters everywhere in one of the world’s greatest surviving festivals.

The Rose of Tralee International Festival will run from this Friday, 17th to 21st August 2018. The festival celebrates 59 unbroken years and is one of Ireland’s oldest and largest festivals.

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