The search is officially underway for Donegal's 2018 representative at the prestigious Rose of Tralee International Festival.

Last year, Glenswilly woman Amy Callaghan donned the Donegal sash and did everyone from her home county proud as she bravely advocated positive mental health and staged a jaw-dropping acrobatic performance.

Amy now prepares to pass on the Donegal sash to the next Rose who will represent Donegal. Young women from across the county are invited to apply online ahead of this year’s Donegal Rose Selection.

The search will be officially launched by Rose of Tralee Dr. Jennifer Byrne and reigning Donegal Rose Amy at The Central Hotel, Donegal Town at 7pm next Thursday 25th January.

Guests are welcome to meet the Roses and for anyone who would like to hear about the Rose experience, this is the perfect opportunity to find out more.

The Rose of Tralee, Dr Jennifer Byrne recently teamed up with RTÉ’s Rose of Tralee Presenter, Dáithí Ó Sé to launch the search for her successor who will be crowned in the Festival Dome on Tuesday 21st August.

Dáithí Ó Sé and Jennifer Byrne. Photo By Domnick Walsh © Eye Focus LTD

Dr Jennifer Byrne, the first ever Offaly Rose to take the title, said: “All I can say to any young woman is to ‘go for it and apply!’ The Rose of Tralee International Festival has truly been the most incredible experience of my life and I hope to encourage as many young women as possible to take part and become their local Rose.

“I guarantee them they will make incredible friends and have an amazing experience. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my year as the Rose of Tralee so far and am really excited for what’s to come.

“Many people think that the Rose of Tralee festival is just one week long and they don’t realise that the Roses and Rose Escorts have so many incredible experiences throughout the whole year.

“I’ve so many more exciting times ahead and I’m really looking forward to meeting the 2018 Roses who will be selected in the coming months.”

Donegal Rose Amy Callaghan reiterated Jennifer’s words of encouragement, saying: “I could write a book on what this year has meant to me and it still wouldn’t do it justice.

“This is an experience that has to be lived, and I promise, it’s one you will cherish forever. My journey as Donegal Rose may be coming to a close, but the friends, memories and opportunities I have made are for life.

“Don’t put off til tomorrow, what can be done today. Make it your year and apply for the opportunity of a lifetime.”

The Donegal Rose Amy Callaghan pictured with Daithi O’Se. Photo By Domnick Walsh © Eye Focus LTD

The Donegal Rose Selection takes place on 21st April in the Central Hotel, Donegal Town. Rose will be interviewed by 3 Judges during the day followed by stage interviews in the evening at an event friends and family can attend.

As the Lead Sponsor of the Rose of International Festival, Tipperary Crystal will present, the 2018 Rose of Tralee with a complete collection of Tipperary Crystal Fine Jewellery, a range of high-quality products from their Giftware and Homeware Collections. She’ll wear the splendid tiara featuring the Rose motif as the central framework, adorned in glistening crystals and the exquisitely crafted Crystal Perpetual Trophy.

The next Rose of Tralee will drive away from Tralee in a brand new KIA from McElligott’s Tralee, a World Travel Prize valued at €25,000 and a weeklong holiday in Kerry from Kerry County Council.

Every return visit to Tralee during the 2018 Rose of Tralee’s reign will be spent in comfort at the magnificent 4-star Rose Hotel, the home to the Rose of Tralee International Festival.

The 2018 Rose of Tralee International Festival will run from Friday 17th to Tuesday 21st August.

To find details of a Rose Selection near you and to apply online, visit