Laois Rose 2006 Alison O'Grady (front centre) with the 2007 Laois Rose contestants
This piece was originally published on LaoisToday on April 27, 2017.
The Laois Rose selection night is always one of the social highlights of the year and this year should be no different.
A packed room in the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel, often up to 20 hopeful girls in a prestigious, long-running event and an army of supporter in high spirits.
Throw in a presenter like Brendan Hennessy – who is liable to say or do anything – and you get a serious night’s entertainment.
One man who has been there for almost every Laois Rose selection night since they started in 2004 is Alf Harvey and his selection of images makes for brilliant viewing.
This year’s selection night takes place this Sunday, April 30, and tickets are €20 and are available at the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel or by calling the Laois Rose co-ordinator Lyn Moloney on 083 4631611.
Stephanie Farrell was crowned the 2008 winner
Some of the banners always provide some great entertainment. Supporting Heather Graham in 2009
Laois Rose 2009, Edel Gilligan
Bernadette Ryan, Laois Rose for 2010
Supporting Gillian Tierney at the Laois Rose selection night in the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Supporting Graiguecullen Rose Gillian Tieney in 2010
Some of the escorts waiting for results at the Laois Rose selection night in 2010
Brendan Hennessy and Laois Rose 2009 Edel Gilligan
Rose of Tralee 2009 Charmaine Kenny at the Laois Rose selection night in 2010
Laois Rose 2006 Alison O’Grady (front centre) with the 2007 Laois Rose contestants
The 2009 Laois Rose contestants
The 2011 Laois Rose contestants
O’Moore Park groundsman Willie Stackpoole with some of the Laois Rose contestants in 2014
Laois Shopping Centre manager Kevin Doyle with 2013 Laois Rose Sarah Conlon. Laois Shopping Centre are one of the sponsors of this year’s event again
2005 winner Kathryn OConnell from Timahoe
MC Brendan Hennessy will chance anything He was put through his paces by fitness instructor Rachel Fawsitt in 2010
Laois Rose 2011 Sinead Fennell (Graiguecullen GAA Club) celebrates with family and friends
Contestants with Laois Rose 2011 Sinead Fennell and Laois Rose co-ordinator Sharon Preston at the Laois Rose selection night in the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel in 2012. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Laois Rose 2013 Sarah Conlon with Laois hurler Matthew Whelan and Laois footballer Paul Begley at O’Moore Park
Laois hurling captain Matthew Whelan getting a lift from the Laois Rose contestants at O’Moore Park in 2014
The contestants at the Laois Rose selection night in 2014
2012 Laois Rose Niamh Bracken 9second from left with former Laois Roses Edel Gilligan, Niamh Bracken and Stephanie Farrell at the 2013 event as well as Laois Rose co-ordinator at the time Sharon Preston
Laois Rose 2015 Ailbhe Culleton with 2016 contestants
Former Laois Roses Anne Marie Bowe and Teresa Brennan at the Laois Rose selection night in 2016
Supporting Kate Hyland at the Laois Rose selection night in 2016
Former Laois Roses Bernadette Ryan and Anne Marie Bowe (Hogan) with Pamela Curtin, Pamela Curtin Millnery fitting a handcrafted pill box hat and Marnie Maguire, Fashion Consultant from Platimum Image
The 2015 contestants
Anne Marie Bowe, Steve Cronly, Bernadette Ryan, Brendan Hennessy and Sarah Conlon at the 2015 selection night
The supporter provide an incredible amount of atmosphere. Edel Keane, Christine Desmond, Eimear Gallagher, Laura O’Connor, Caoilfhionn McGowan, Fiona Fitzpatrick, Anne Marie O’Connor and Jenny Buggy in 2014
MC Brendan Hennessy introduces 2007 Laois Rose Claire Sutton at the 2008 selection night
Laois Rose 2008 Stephanie Farrell is congratulated by her grandfather Seamus Farrell in 2008
MC Brendan Hennessy with Rachel Fawsitt in 2010