Uncle Enda's not pulling strings says Rose Dervla
A ROSE of Tralee has insisted that she is getting no extra benefits because her godfather is the leader of the country.
Mayo Rose Dervla Kenny has revealed that her uncle Enda has been very supportive -- but isn't pulling any strings to help her.
The 26-year-old, who works as an occupational therapist in the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dublin, told the Diary: "He'll probably take particular interest this year because I am family but it is very separate to politics and I don't think it should come into it."
She said that "everybody is a relation to somebody" given that "Ireland is a very small place".
"Enda is very supportive of all things that encourage friendship and that encourage Irish culture. The Rose of Tralee is not about your political affiliations or who your family are."
Dervla will be up against Dublin Rose Arlene O'Neill (25) who says that her few weeks in the limelight won't be used to bag a rugby player or become a celebrity.
The brunette beauty from Lucan, who is currently undertaking a PhD in nanoscience in Trinity College, insists that she's a 'science geek, and proud of it'.
"I love science. I'm very proud to shout that out and I'm proud to be a science geek, especially as a woman.
"There aren't that many of us out there so I love to try and break the mould and encourage other girls to get involved in science."
Arlene, who will be flying the flag for Dublin this August in Tralee, has never entered a competition like this before and says that pageants like Miss Ireland just wouldn't be her 'cup of tea'.
"I don't think anyone is chosen to go to Tralee with that sort of attitude", she said. "You try to be yourself and try to make the most of an incredible experience and winning just really doesn't come in to it."
The 32 roses who will embark on the ten-day road tour of the Rose of Tralee, kicking off in Dublin on August 13 and culminating in the iconic dome in Tralee on August 21.
The girls face the daunting task of coordinating 22 different outfits for the tour, while at the same time fulfilling their official Rose duties and carrying on with their everyday lives.
"It's been a whirlwind", Arlene laughed, adding: "Hectic but incredible at the same time."