Rose of Tralee 2018: Laois contestant brings farming to the fore

Co. Laois farmer Grainne Hogan was recently chosen to represent her county in this year’s Rose of Tralee festival, bringing farming firmly to the fore of the international event.

Having been selected at the county round of the Rose of Tralee – which took place last Sunday, May 7, in the Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise – the occasion has not yet sunk in for Grainne.

She made sure to give a distinctly agricultural theme to her overall presentation; her performance act – rather than singing or dancing – involved milking ‘Daisy the cow’ on stage.

This performance certainly set her out from the crowd, with a little help from MC on the night, Galway Bay FM’s Ollie Turner.

Image source: Camross Macra

Describing the bold move, Grainne said: “That was the laugh of all the girls; because at one stage we were all asking each other what we were going to be doing for the performance, and there was dancing and singing and everything – and then I said I was going to be milking a cow!

I think everyone thought I was messing, but it would have to be something mad anyway when it was me.

Elaborating, the farmer said: “I can’t sing or dance and I wanted to do something; you know when you get that chance.

“One of the lads I know from college, he was saying I should try and shear a sheep if I get onto the telly,” she joked.

Grainne – sponsored by rural business Sheeran’s Pub of Coolrain village – had strong support from her local Macra na Feirme branch, Camross Macra.

Image source: Camross Macra

On the event itself, the selection process involved Grainne and the 16 other contestants being quizzed by judges in individual interviews.

This was followed by group interviews, where contestants were asked two questions to gauge opinions and personalities.

Grainne – who is from Camross – works on the farm of Noel and Breda Dooley, milking cows and carrying out general dairy farm duties.

“Sheep and sucklers would be my main kind of interest, but I do love the dairy as well,” she said.