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Daithi O'Se and Rita Talty

My Week: Hosting the Rose of Tralee and attending a pre-marriage course

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Daithi O'Se and Rita Talty

It’s always a good week when I get back home to Kerry, unfortunately I don’t make it as much as I’d like to. Between Galway and Dublin it can be hard.

I know friends of mine who live in London get home more often than I do, having a direct flight to the Kingdom helps I guess. I was working in Tralee on the Friday so decided to Head further West to Dingle to see the folks.

Our wedding seems to be on every ones lips. The 12th of July being the big day, North and South this year. As all my friends are saying, jokingly! Even though we only had one night with the folks it was great.

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Into Tralee for this year’s Kerry Rose selection. This was my ninth year in a row to host this event. It’s the first step in my Rose of Tralee duties every year. It only took my seven years to get the big gig at the end of the summer, it was worth waiting for.

The Kerry Rose selection is one of the biggest with about 20 to 25 girls entering every year and with a crowd on the night of about 600 on the night, so no pressure. I get to meet all the Roses during the day. They were all up of the craic which makes life a lot easier for me. I love having fun with them during the day, I think they think I’m normal and not full of it and that puts them at ease. The stage part is always a lot of fun too.

Strangely enough the worst part of the night for me is the reveal at the end. There can be only one winner so that leaves more than 20 who will be disappointed, but to be honest most of them enter for the experience and not to win. If they win it’s a bonus.

Ann-Marie Hayes a lovely young lady from Listowel in North Kerry was crowned the 2012 Kerry Rose. A newly qualified Doctor from Trinity College Dublin no less. A young lady who lost her Dad before Christmas. She spoke about the whole event and how it affected her but also how it helped her in her college course.

It’s not an easy thing to speak about in front of 600 people when you only know 20 of them. This could have been one of the things that set her apart on the night. Next up on the Rose of Tralee front for me are the regional selections where all the Irish, British, American and the rest of Europe come together. 53 Roses in one weekend. That’s a lot of questions and party pieces. It’s always a great laugh, along with a lot of work for me.

One thing a presenter is always worried about is mispronouncing names. I was reading the Irish World a few weeks back and I read of Olivia Markantonakis, this year’s Derby Rose. Olivia, I’ve been practicing and will get it right on the night, I promise!

I couldn’t stay in Kerry for the long as I had to be back in Dublin for a pre-marriage course. If you marry in Dublin it’s not compulsory due to the volume of people getting married in the Capital.

Kerry is a different story. It’s Euro140 for a 6 hour course, e250 for someone to call out to your house and give you a private season that would last 3 hours! A money racket I said to myself, but we had to do it or there would be no big day on the 12th in Dingle!

I put the money part out of my head and went to Tallaght for the course with an open mind. The mind being like a parachute it only works properly when it’s open. I was hoping to get something from it, Stuff to avoid if things get tough or maybe to be enlightened in some way about the opposite sex. There were about twenty couples in the room from all over Ireland, some as old as 45 and others as young as 25.

The guy who gave the course was good and straight shooting, but the whole thing was kinda pointless.

We were going through what turns men off. One of the sentences that came up was this one and we had to fill in the blank. ‘Women can’t stop ... in bed’ to which a woman from Dublin with a great Hill 16 accent shouted ‘farting’ the whole place came down! Thanks be to God for her because she make the day go fast.

I love the real Dub, the Hill 16 Dub. Not afraid to speak their mind. The blank being ‘talking’ by the way. With only an hour to go the fire alarm went off. We all thought it was false but it wasn’t. We all ran out and the there was smoke coming out of the pub part of the hotel.

The course was over. From the 5 hours of the course the only thing I learned was that the Catholic Church doesn’t believe that Adam and Eve existed! They are only a symbol. I was shocked to learn this and I don’t know why.

Anyway we got the cert and the wedding will go ahead! You’d need a holiday after the pre-marriage. I got an early Birthday present from herself, Portugal, here I came. That’s sounds like a title for a play!

*Daithi is one of Ireland's best known TV personalities, known especially for his hosting of the annual Rose of Tralee, Ireland's most watched TV event.

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