16/08/11

16/08/2011 Minister Deenihan welcomes radiant Roses to National Museum of Ireland

A STEP into history at the National Museum of Ireland formed the perfect backdrop today for Minister Jimmy Deenihan’s official welcome to this year’s 32 Rose of Tralee participants.

The Rose of Tralee International Festival, itself a part of living history and Irish culture, has played a key role in preserving the past and continuing to connect the global Irish community.

Communications Manager for the Rose of Tralee International Festival, John Drummey, said: “All the Roses have a deep appreciation of their own families’ history and it is fitting that they should be treated to a visit to the home of history in Ireland. The interest, and indeed affection, that Irish people at home and abroad have for the Rose of Tralee represent the core strength of the Rose of Tralee brand which is an unrivalled marketing and promotional asset for Kerry and Ireland.”

Minister Deenihan said: “The Rose of Tralee Festival plays a significant role in attracting overseas tourists to Ireland, to Kerry and especially to Tralee. For one week every year Tralee becomes home for not just the Roses and their Escorts but also for their extended families and friends who travel as supporters. The excitement of the participants is palpable and lifts the community of North Kerry. The coverage this festival receives internationally with our Irish Diaspora is immense and serves to remind us all of the very strong links to home that our emigrants down through the years have so stridently maintained. Each of the Roses stands as an emblem of our distinctive Irishness providing us with a snapshot of the diversity of our culture and heritage which is what makes Ireland unique”.

During their visit to the National Museum of Ireland the Roses learned about two areas – Ireland’s Gold and The Treasury.

The National Museum of Ireland’s collection of prehistoric goldwork, ranging in date between 2200 BC and 500 BC, is one of the largest and most important in western Europe. Most are pieces of jewellery but the precise function of some is unknown.

The Treasury exhibition shows the unique treasures of early medieval Ireland, exploring their connections with both the pagan past and the wider Christian culture of the time. The objects on display are of international significance, not just as archaeological evidence but because collectively and often individually, they represent major landmarks in early European culture.

The Rose of Tralee International Festival will take place from 19th to 23rd August in Tralee. For more details, visit www.roseoftralee.ie.

ENDS

For interview and image requests please contact John Drummey on 087-7909487 or communications@roseoftralee.ie

Images available free of charge to the Press from Domnick Walsh Photography/Eye Focus at www.dwalshphoto.ie – contact info@dwalshphoto.ie

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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