THOMAS Lynch, a business consultant from Castleisland, Co Kerry topped the poll among Roses and Rose Escorts to become the 2017 Rose Escort of the Year at the Rose of Tralee International Festival.

Dáithí Ó Sé announced the result live on RTÉ One television last night in the Festival Dome and presented him with a cheque for €1,000.

There are 64 Rose Escorts at this year’s Festival and Thomas was paired with the Kilkenny Rose, Tara Roche for the first three days of the Festival, followed by the Dubai Rose, Lisa O’Donohue for the remainder of the event in Tralee.
Thomas, who was sponsored by Grant Thornton, said: “It’s uplifting to see how the children and the town interact with the Roses and the joy that they are experiencing. When we pull out a Rose’s chair, when we hold their hands coming down off the bus and when you see them kind of giggle and look back at the other Rose and say, ‘Oh, I could get used to this…’, that kind of lifts our spirits. It means we are doing something right and we are making the week magical for them.”