Get behind the Tyrone and Derry Roses - both from Mid Ulster - as Rose of Tralee starts tonight

Genevieve Scullion is the Tyrone Rose
Genevieve Scullion is the Tyrone Rose

Two young ladies from Mid Ulster are hoping to be crowned the 2016 Rose of Tralee as one of Ireland’s largest and longest-running festivals begins today (Wednesday).

The Rose of Tralee International Festival takes place from August 17 until August 23, with 65 young women vying for the top title.

Derry Rose Eimear Cassidy and Sean Henry Good Relations Officer with Mid Ulster Council.INMM2316-337

Derry Rose Eimear Cassidy and Sean Henry Good Relations Officer with Mid Ulster Council.INMM2316-337

Among them are 26-year-old Eiméar Cassidy, who’s from Newbridge but living in Magherafelt, and Genevieve Scullion, 22, from Killeeshil.

Eiméar was selected as this year’s Derry Rose, while Genevieve is the nominated Tyrone Rose.

Both will be hoping to make it through tonight and tomorrow night’s selection rounds if they want to be in with a chance of winning.

The live TV finals for the competition will then take place on August 22 and 23, with the remaining 32 girls.

The Mid Ulster ladies are already in Tralee with the rest of the aspiring Roses, which include seven from Northern Ireland, having travelled to Co Kerry earlier in the week.

According to their festival profiles, Derry Rose Eiméar, a mature student, is the youngest of six and is currently completing a degree in Communication with Public Relations at Ulster University, Jordanstown.

Passionate about traditional Irish music and culture, Eiméar is planning for a career in business consultancy or training and development and is PRO for her local Comhaltas branch – Newbridge CCE.

Meanwhile, Tyrone Rose, Genevieve, has just finished her degree in Interactive Multimedia Design at Ulster University.

She’s also well-known locally for her performances at the Black Cat Restaurant and loves singing and music.

The seventh of four boys and four girls, she likes Gaelic football and travelling, and has represented her GAA club with solo singing performances.

With the spotlight firmly on the girls this week, they’ll no doubt be hoping that one of them will bring home the title...