Pictured at the launch of the search for the 2018 Leitrim Rose are past Roses.
This time every year, young ladies from communities all around Leitrim take the opportunity to represent their families, their villages and their county, live on TV, in the International Rose of Tralee Festival in Co Kerry.
This year is no different, and past Leitrim Roses - along with our current Leitrim Rose, Erin Moran from Ballinamore - attended the launch of the 2018 Leitrim Rose selection last weekend in The Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon.
May 12 will be the night that one lucky young woman will be chosen to have the experience of a lifetime and the Leitrim Rose Centre is looking for women between the ages of 18 and 27 to apply and join in all the fun.
An information chat has been arranged for this Sunday, April 15 in The Bush Hotel at 4pm, and organizers are calling for anyone interested in learning more about the experience, to come along for a friendly and informal chat.
Brendan Galvin, Leitrim Rose Coordinator says, "Leitrim has produced amazing Roses every year to represent the county and we have so much fun and laughs during the selection night. Every girl that enters has a great night and that is what it is all about, fun".
Organisers are keen to emphasize that it is a common misunderstanding that a Rose must have a talent to perform on stage. This is not true, says Brendan, party pieces are only to add some entertainment value to the stage show. They are not part of the judging process whatsoever and most Roses, in fact, don't do a party piece on the night.
The 2017 Leitrim Rose, Erin Moran, said she is sad that her reign is coming to a close. She has just returned from a trip to America where many of last year's Roses from around the world, marched in the St Patrick's Day Parade. Before that she spent a week with fellow Roses volunteering in an orphanage in Belarus with Chernobyl Children.
"Being selected as the Leitrim Rose opens up so many amazing opportunities for you. Little did I know this time last year that I would have such a wonderful year ahead of me.
“The friends that I have made and the fun that I have had with my family through it all has made the year so special. If any girl has an interest in joining in all the fun, just come along to the information chat next Sunday and meet myself and the Leitrim Rose team and you will learn how easy the whole process is".
Mary Heslin, the 2010 Leitrim Rose was at the launch with many past Leitrim Roses and she encouraged young women to enter this year's competition.
“To see so many previous Leitrim Roses here today shows the bond that roses have and the friendships that are built. We appeal to sisters to bring sisters, friends to bring friends, mothers to bring daughters along to the information evening next week and learn about the fun that we are going to have on the selection night this May".