Tipp Escort Seán in Fundraising Drive

ROSCREA man Seán Flanagan is to set female pulses racing at the end of August when he goes before the eyes of the nation representing the Premier County in the annual Rose of Tralee festival.

ROSCREA man Seán Flanagan is to set female pulses racing at the end of August when he goes before the eyes of the nation representing the Premier County in the annual Rose of Tralee festival.

Seán will be hosting a fundraising night in Grant’s Hotel in Roscrea on August 12th next. Readers are invited to come along and enjoy a night of sing songs and a table quiz, all proceeds going to 1Life, a suicide prevention helpline. The night forms part of Séan’s duties in his role as the Tipperary Escort, a role he won after being selected in April from a line-up with three other Tipperary men by the 17 Tipperary Roses. Séan also had to endure a gruelling adventure weekend in Galway beating off stiff competition to be selected for one of the 32 much sought-after Escort positions.

“We went to a social night with the Tipperary Roses,” Seán (25) told the Tipperary Star. “And they voted on the night of the Rose Selection for their favourite Escort.” Having won that round, the Roscrea native, who now teaches at a Primary School in Kildare, said they were put through their paces at an Escort Boot Camp in Ballinasloe.

The team building adventure weekend really separated the men from the boys, with kayaking, ‘zorbing’ downhill in transparent plastic spheres, canoeing, a cooking competiton, lighting campfires, camping, along with quizzes and singing forming just part of the action.

“We had a turf cutting competition. We were split into two teams, and it was a race to see who could cut the most turf the fastest,” said Séan. The turf plot was donated to St Vincent De Paul. “It was gruelling enough. But it was great fun. About 45 fellas went to it, and they had to narrow it down to 32.” The weekend finished up with more interviews, etiquette lessons and a talk on how to care for the all-important tuxes. In June, Séan learned that he been chosen to go ahead to the Finals.

Séan, who attended Coláiste Phobal in Roscrea, won’t learn which Rose he will be teamed up with until the Finals night at the end of August. Escorts and Roses are matched on the basis of personality and interests. “I won’t know what Rose I’m escorting until I get there.” Sean says the 1Life Charity was chosen as the Escorts fall into that age group - young men in their teens and ‘20’s - most at risk of suicide. “Every cent that’s raised is going to go towards Charity. Grants have been very good to us. The message is to come along. It’s E20 for a team of four. If someone wants to bring along a musical instrument, and have a bit of craic, it’s all about just enjoying it and about getting the 1Life brand out there,” added Seán.

Readers can also donate safely online. Punters can place a bet on which Rose Seán will end up escorting. Each bet costs just E2. Information at www.mycharity.ie/event/aroseforsean