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21 tremendously embarrassing Rose of Tralee photocalls from over the years

It’s that time of year.

THIS MORNING, DAITHÍ Ó Sé was whisked to Malahide Castle via helicopter to participate in the Rose of Tralee photocall.

The Rose of Tralee photocall is a time-honoured tradition that sees a male presenter from RTÉ pose for mildly embarrassing photos with scores of young women. These meticulously choreographed photos usually involve the Rose of Tralee hopefuls chasing the presenter, kissing him or perhaps lifting him up.

Let’s look back at some of the best of the genre, shall we?

Marty Whelan

Marty Whelan hosted the Rose of Tralee from 1997 – 2002.

Here he is doing the can-can with some contestants wearing two-piece suits, kitten heels and elaborate hats.

26590 Source: RollingNews.ie

Here’s Marty Whelan looking like he’s about to drop a hip-hop mixtape.


Here’s Marty being held aloft by eight women. Doesn’t he look chuffed with himself?

ROSE OF TRALEE CONTEST CONTESTANTS 2002 Source: Gareth Chaney/Photocall Ireland!

“Welcome to my crib.”

ROSE OF TRALEE CONTEST CONTESTANTS 2002 Source: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Ryan Tubridy

A baby-faced Ryan Tubridy hosted the pageant in 2003 and 2004.

Here is Tubs holding a globe and pretending there’s nothing weird about women in their early twenties wearing “mother of the bride” hats.

ROSE OF TRALEE CONTESTANTS FESTIVALS 2003 Source: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

So many hats!

ROSE OF TRALEE CONTESTANTS FESTIVALS 2003 Source: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland


00071177_71177 Source: Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland!

Look at the women swooning over Ryan. So smooth.

00071184_71184 Source: Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland!


00071182_71182 Source: Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland!

Ray D’Arcy

Ray D’Arcy served as the presenter from 2005 to 2009.

As you can see, he never looked entirely comfortable with the photo calls.

90118499_90118499 Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Possibly because he was lifted up a lot.

90118495_90118495 Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

There he is now. Glad to be standing on his own feet.

90156617_90156617 Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Ooh, saucy.

Rose of Tralee Newbridge Announcement Source: Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland!

Some people stand on a phonebook for a bit of height. D’Arcy stands on a bench.

90091764_90091764 Source: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Daithi Ó Sé

Daithí Ó Sé was put on God’s earth to star in these photocalls.

Look at that swagger.

90196461_90196461 Source: /Photocall Ireland

Need Daithí to look silly? No problem! Daithí will take off his shoes, stick a rose in his mouth and run like a madman in service of the photocall.

90232326_90232326 Source: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

He’s not afraid to act mischievous.

90270213_90270213 Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Or embrace his inner lothario.

International Rose of Tralee Festivals Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

“Gis a kiss there, love.”

90196493_90196493 Source: /Photocall Ireland

There’s just something about a stetson that makes Daithí impossible to resist, it seems.

90232259_90232259 Source: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

And, of course, he nails the “run away from gaggle of girls and look frightened” photo every time.

rose of tralee 777_90520618 (1) Source: Sam Boal

What a pro.

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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