Roses bloom in Derry as part of Fleadh

The International Rose of Tralee Tour is coming to Derry tomorrow to coincide with the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann taking place in the city.

The Roses will enjoy an evening of traditional music and dancing at the City Hotel after a day of taking in the historic attractions of the city and some of the hundreds of events taking place as part of the Fleadh.

Their visit is part of a four-day tour which will take them to Dublin, Belfast, Derry, Kildare, Sligo, Galway, Limerick and then back to Kerry where they will stay for the week of the International Rose of Tralee Festival.

As part of their tour of Derry the Roses will be taken on a guided tour of the Tower Museum before taking part in a tour of the Walled City, led by local tour operator Martin McCrossan.

Following the tour, which will include a visit to St. Columb’s Cathedral, the Roses will have lunch at the Beech Hill Country House Hotel.

In the afternoon young rosebuds from throughout the city will meet the Roses at the Richmond Centre and present them with flowers before they visit Ebrington Square where there will be an ‘Outdoor Stage’ which will feature Comhaltas branches from throughout the world alongside leading acts in the traditional genre before attending evening entertainment in the City Hotel.

The finals of the competition take place at the beginning of next week - until then all the Roses including the Derry representative Gemma Blair will be travelling around Ireland and attending events in Tralee.

Gemma was selected in Derry earlier this year.

The 22 year-old is a student nurse from Co. Derry, who also volunteers with Children in Crossfire, and is hoping to win the overall title next Tuesday.