The 60th International Rose of Tralee festival takes place this Friday, and, while regular readers know, while I’m not a big fan of this frocky-horror-show, the thing is, when it comes to the viewing public, it appears to be somewhat of a ratings’ winner, meaning somebody must be enjoying it. So, g’wan the girlies!
However, this year viewers from our lovely county of Roscommon are being provided with an added bonus regarding this wholesome celebration of ‘Oirish’ womanhood. Let me explain. Taking part as one of the thirty-two Rose Buds, (little ladies aged between six and ten years), is our very own little flower, Ms Roisín O’Reilly, age nine-and-a-half…with the half being very important!
In a nutshell, Roisín, who hails from Kilbride, was chosen from hundreds of applications made by parents of children from all over Ireland and abroad; with a portion of their entry fee going to charity. Twenty-four successful applicants come from Kerry with the final eight little ladies’ spaces being allocated to other areas. However, while I wish Roisín well; and know she’ll do Roscommon proud as she accompanies the Kerry Rose over what will be four days of fun activities, I have to confess, her involvement in this event is not the main reason this child has come to my attention. Nope, rather it’s her humane and compassionate nature when it comes to animals.
You see, in a week where we were inundated with sad news, and stories of heartbreak, tragedy and alleged thuggery, (appearing to involve Conor McGregor), I was reassured to have happened across a happy story of hope. A story involving young Roisín, a child who is, in my opinion, set to make a real difference in her community. To put it simply, when this local child is not preparing for her very important international Rose Bud festival duties, she is, even though she may not realise it, inspiring others by working hard to save animals’ lives.
Now you all know I’m passionate about animals. Indeed, I’m not even going to pretend to be ashamed of the fact I love my dogs as much as I love my family. It’s no secret that in my world, and in my home, my four legged fur babies are my canine kids, and my two-legged human ones are fine with that. Well, they kinda have no choice!
However, in showing my dogs, (and all animals), the love and respect they deserve, I hope I’ve managed to provide my girls, including my granddaughter, with a valuable example of responsible and humane animal welfare. I’ll go so far as to say this pattern has provided them with a merciful, empathetic characteristic, which I hope was imperative when it came to shaping them into compassionate adults. It was precisely this type of gentleness and consideration that brought young Roisín and her lovely mam Kathy to my attention.
Indeed, from chatting with the pair I’ve got no doubt that mam, along with Roisín’s dad Noel, are raising a caring, selfless child; attributes which are clearly essential to their happy family life. Therefore, when I heard from T.N.R. South Roscommon how Roisín, who is “big into animals, especially cats,” donates her toys and her clothes as well as any unwanted gifts she may receive to this wonderful local charity to sell online and at car boot sales, I was hugely impressed. I knew immediately that not only does this child want to promote a better world for both humans and animals, she also has the confidence to do it; and that, dear readers, is most definitely worth a mention.
I know this county is bursting with inspirational kiddies, every one of whom is impressive in their own right, and I’m not discounting them. But I’m sure you’ll all wish Roisín well as she embarks on her Rose Bud role this weekend. I know she’ll miss her “great friends” Itchy and Scratchy, a pair of adorable four-year-old semi-ferals she adopted through the T.N.R. South Roscommon programme.
In fact, in her quest to make their little lives better, Roisín who wants to work with animals when she gets older, fashioned a fairy fort at the bottom of her garden where she plays with her fabulous feline family. As someone who believes it’s never too early to think big, I feel that in Roisín, Roscommon could well have its very own future super-vet! Watch this space.
Is it clear Ireland’s (probably) got no talent?
Despite the fact they’ve broken up and reconciled nearly as often as Friends’ characters Ross and Rachel, it seems Mayo man Louis Walsh and Simon Cowell are (allegedly) set to reunite. According to (unconfirmed) reports, our lovely Louis has signed on the dotted line and will ‘take part in the X-Factor All-Star reboot and a celebrity version of the format’ later this year. Well I for one am delighted for Louis, he’s a gentleman and, whenever we worked together during our RTÉ days, or whenever we socialised, I have to tell you I enjoyed his company enormously.
Look, to be honest, while I’m no fan of X Factor and would rather watch an entire series of Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip in slow motion, I do believe Louis was wasted on home-grown series Ireland’s Got Talent and I’m not surprised it’s been (allegedly) scrapped by Virgin Media. I mean, let’s face it, given the calibre of contestants it was clear that Ireland (probably) didn’t have any real talent to showcase!
Indeed, for those of you who’ll now insist that you do actually possess a knack for entertaining audiences, my response is this…you clearly didn’t choose to flaunt it on that series now did you?
And don’t get me started on the endless array of ‘dance troupe’ entries who seemed to churn out the same old boring routines that strangely matched their same old jaded stories about how they had no focus, and were lacking motivation and direction etc.
But hey, when they discovered dancing, well, it miraculously saved their entire lives! Oh purleese! Then again, perhaps this is where I’m going wrong readers. Perhaps I should give up my job and instead do back flips, head spins, split leaps and scissor jumps on a TV ‘talent’ show where an audience, who really couldn’t care less about me, secretly harbour an urge to fling the remote control at the screen as I perform. Too harsh? My apologies.