Rose of Tralee candidates win couture stakes at the Punchestown Racing Festival

THE ‘Lilywhite’ county of Kildare and the ‘Cats’ of Kilkenny candidates for the international title of the Rose of Tralee were delightfully represented in the couture stakes at the Punchestown Racing Festival (30 April) in Kildare Ireland on the final day of racing.

Rose of Tralee candidates were at the Punchestown Racing Festival in County Kildare Ireland, one of the biggest in the Irish racing calendar

County Kildare Rose Centre Coordinator Lyn Moloney and her daughter Rachel Moloney welcomed Rose candidates from Kildare and Kilkenny to the Punchestown Racing Festival. The mother-and-daughter duo are outfitted in Goods Store Kilkenny, millinery by Catriona King and Coast.

Kilkenny Rose candidates Molly Coogan (left) and Kate Prendergast, wearing Brown Thomas fashion and Pretty Little Things and Zara at the Punchestown Racing Festival in Kildare Ireland

Candidates representing their home counties where they live or work have been on tour ahead of the selection process from May to June, so there is still time to apply from anywhere in the world at

Kilkenny Rose candidates Laura Reynolds (left) and Ailsling Kavanagh at the races in Punchestown, Kildare Ireland. The pair are outfitted in a boutique original and Quiz of Kilkenny

The current Kilkenny Rose Clodagh Cassin (right) wearing a design by Louise Kennedy and Kilkenny Rose candidate Catriona Murtagh in fashion from Villa Boutique

Kilkenny Rose candidates Avril Collins (left), styled by Faith Amond in fashion from Serendipity Boutique and Emma-Kate O’Dwyer wearing Dunnes Stores style and millinery by Ber Upton at the races in Punchestown, Kildare Ireland

The international festival, celebrating Irish heritage and culture will take place next August in the famed Rose Dome in Tralee, County Kerry Ireland.

“Being a Rose and representing your county is one of the best things you can do,” said the current Kildare Rose Emer Fogarty. “By the end of it you will have really gotten to know each other and you will learn a lot. The network that you build from early on, you keep in touch.”

Kildare Rose candidates Rachel Hovenden-Keane, Katie Cody, Roisin Linane, Sherena Flynn and Kerri Nolan in style by Boohoo and Quiz Dublin Ireland

The Rose of Tralee International Festival of five days in August is supported by over 60 Rose Centres in Ireland and around the world and is open to women from 18 to 29 years old who can be married, single and LGBTQ+.

Kim Mullahey

Kim Mullahey is’s Ireland Correspondent. She holds an honours undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Chicago and has taught Adult Education Creative Writing Studies. Through a media career spanning nearly 25 years Kim has written and photographed regional news, national and international horse sports, fashion and lifestyle. Kim lives with her husband and son in Kildare Ireland, and a stray marmalade cat who has adopted the family.

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