MONDAY 21 AUGUST: Kildare man, Tommy Cunningham has topped the poll of the 32 International Roses and Rose Escorts to become the Benetti Menswear Rose Escort of the Year at the 2023 Rose of Tralee International Festival.
Kathryn Thomas and Dáithí Ó Sé announced the result live on RTÉ One during the first night of the Rose of Tralee TV Show at Kerry Sports Academy, in the MTU.
Tommy, who is accompanying the Arizona Rose Ashley Jackson, hails from Rathangan Co. Kildare and is a Teacher in Kildare Town Educate Together National School. The 26 year old is the very proud brother of four younger sisters, who he credits as having spent the summer preparing him for his Rose Escort duties at this year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival.
Speaking about the announcement Tommy said; “It’s an incredible feeling and a privilege. It could have been any one of the Rose Escorts standing here; they all deserve to be standing here. They’re a great bunch of lads. Thank you to the lads and the amazing Roses this year, you’ve all made the experience an amazing one.”
The 32 Benetti Menswear Rose Escorts 2023 have been gifted with exquisite ‘James Peak Lapel Tuxedo’ from the Benetti Menswear brand. In addition, Thomas will receive a prize valued at €2,000 from Benetti Menswear.
Vincent Nally, MD Benetti Menswear said: “Benetti Menswear are delighted to announce Tommy Cunningham as the 2023 Benetti Menswear Rose Escort of the Year. We are proud of our official partnership with the Rose of Tralee International Festival for this year’s landmark Festival. We have been working closely with all 33 Rose Escorts as we counted down to the 2002 Benetti Menswear Rose Escort of the Year. We are delighted to have participated in this year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival, and we wish Tommy and all the Rose Escorts a most memorable event in Tralee.”
Almost 200 men aged between 21 and 31 applied to become Rose Escorts at this year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival and following a detailed interview process, the final 32 were selected to take part in a Boot Camp Weekend in Kerry to help them prepare for a busy week at the Festival.
Applications are now being accepted to become Rose Escorts for the 2024 Festival and full details are available from www.roseoftralee.ie.
Official Festival Photographs will be issued to news and picture desks from Domnick Walsh (dwalshphoto.ie), with repro free images also available to accredited editors from the online Editors Area.
Interview requests for the International Roses and Rose Escorts can be made directly to communications@
Interview requests for Dáithí Ó Sé and Kathryn Thomas can be made directly to [email protected].