Meet the Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh at An Riocht on Friday Morning

Reigning Rose of Tralee, Maria Walsh (with sash) setting out from Galway on Tuesday morning. photograph Courtesy of Festival of Kerry Office.
Reigning Rose of Tralee, Maria Walsh (with sash) setting out from Galway on Tuesday morning. photograph Courtesy of Festival of Kerry Office.

The still reigning, International Rose of Tralee, Maria Walsh set out from Galway on Tuesday morning with a bunch of companions on a purposeful adventure they labeled Trek2Tralee.
This Thursday evening they will reach An Riocht here in Castleisland. In the morning at 11am there will be an official, final leg-of-the-journey kind of ceremony at An Riocht AC before they hit the road to Tralee. There will be television cameras and all class of media attention as accompaniment. The itinerary for the event reads as follows:
Day : Tuesday, August 11th at 10am from: Shrule (Gibbsons’ pub) To: Galway’s Maldron Hotel.
Day 2: Wednesday, August 12th at 9am from: Galway’s Maldron Hotel to Limerick Garda station.
Day 3: Thursday, August 13th at 9am from: Limerick Garda station to An Ríocht AC Castleisland.
Day 4: Friday August 14th at 11am from An Ríocht AC Castleisland to Tralee’s Ashe Memorial Hall.
It’s important for me to share why I wanted to complete Trek 2 Tralee as my final project as the 2014 International Rose of Tralee,” said Rose, Maria Walsh:

“An idea was pitched some time ago by a Dublin based wellness and fitness coach named Jen Feighery. She wanted to make a positive change in people’s lives and felt working with the Rose of Tralee International Festival could ensure people felt empowered. We met in April and discussed “how can we work together to drive people of all ages?” And within that one conversation Trek 2 Tralee was born.
Greatest Unexpected Expectation

“Twelve months ago the greatest unexpected expectation happened – I was selected as the International Rose of Tralee. I have been fortunate to have been given the opportunity to showcase and celebrate the many things I identify with. The Festival offered me a podium to share my stories and chapters with people right across the country, in particular our young people.
More Than Just Two Nights on Television
“I wanted to show people that the Rose of Tralee Festival offers much more than the two nights on television. As I traveled around the world, I was drawn to the idea that the heart of the Irish Diaspora is people sharing their stories. Our very own Festival was created by friends sitting around a table talking and debating they could better their community.
The Point of Empowerment
“And that’s what lies at the heart of this Trek. The point of empowerment lies within stories being shared and the belief that as a collective group, we can all make a difference.
The heart of Trek 2 Tralee is to empower individuals to join us, connect with the many towns and villages over the five counties we travel through and together as a collective community empower each other to be proud of our the many chapters and stories that shape our lives.”