Pauline Scott Guests at last week’s launch of the Roscommon Rose of Tralee heard that given the talent on offer among the 15 Roscommon Roses, there is every chance that the crown for the 2008 Rose of Tralee will rest on a Roscommon woman’s head. The event takes place in the Abbey Hotel in Roscommon on Saturday 26th April and indications are that tickets for the event will be like gold dust, given the number of roses wishing to bring family and friends to the event. Music on the night will be by Heatwave. The 2007 Roscommon Rose, Yvonne Devine, was among those at last Thursday night’s launch, and she was joined by sponsors, committee members and contestants for the 2008 event. Brendan Glynn represented Paddy Sweeney, the developer of Roscommon Retail Park, while the other main sponsor of the event is Charlie O’Brien of O’Brien’s pharmacy. Well-known Galway Bay FM DJ Ollie Turner will be the compere once again on the night, while well-known sports star Kevin McStay will be the Master of Ceremonies. The Roscommon Rose chosen on the night will go forward to represent the county at a regional event and six roses from the regional event will go on to Tralee. Chairperson of the Rose of Roscommon Committee Tony Waldron welcomed guests, including Anthony O’Gara, Managing Director of the Rose of Tralee. He also welcomed Steve Cronly, National Co-ordinator of the Rose of Tralee, and a winner of the Escort of the Year at the 1998 event in Tralee. He noted that Steve also has strong Roscommon connections as he is married to Evelyn Dolan from Roscommon. Guests at the launch also heard from representatives of the two charities who will benefit from this year’s event. Breege Callaghan represented the Holy Trinity project in Castlerea, while Cynthia Clampett represented Mayo Roscommon Hospice. Breege told guests that the Castlerea Arts Group had come together eight years ago and decided the promote the arts in the town. Trinity Church was identified as the ideal place for an arts centre and the group now aims to put Castlerea on the arts map through the creation of a new purpose-built building. Cynthia Clampett told guests that the money raised on the night will be used for the creation of new purpose-built cancer units in Castlebar and Roscommon, which will cost a total of €22 million. Concluding, she said that she always watches the Rose of Tralee and said that she is sure that whoever is chosen to represent the county will do so with ability, pride and dignity. A draw on the night of the Roscommon event will go to Rostubber Aid, a charity which brings containers of food, clothing and other necessities to Romania. In previous years the event was held in the Royal Hotel and on Thursday night last, speakers paid tribute to Larry and Aileen O’Gara for their help in recent years. At the close of the event, guests were introduced to all 15 roses and Steve Cronley praised the professionalism of the Roscommon event, before wishing all contestants well in their chosen careers.