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Six pretty Roses all in a row and ready to bloom in Tralee

By Amy Ryan

Two blooming beauties from Northern Ireland will go head-to-head in the final of this year’s Rose of Tralee Festival.

Gemma Murphy from Newry and Belfast’s Frances Rafferty won through the Regional Final in Portlaoise.

Gemma (24) works part-time as a social worker in a residential children’s home. She also works as marketing manager for her family’s jewellery business.

She is a volunteer with charity St Vincent De Paul and has received the Princess Diana Award for outstanding commitment to developing community projects. She impressed the judging panel with her bubbly personality and wide range of talents, leading betting agency Boylesports to tip her as one to watch with odds of 10/1.

Frances (25), a PE teacher in Carrickfergus, is part of Queen’s Swimming, Waterpolo and Lifesaving Club.

She is a Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme leader and is looking forward to trekking the Wall of China in October.

Despite Boylesport odds of 33/1, Frances is confident she can go all the way to win this year’s crown.

The winner will be crowned live on RTE in a glittering TV ceremony on August 24.

Full details of this year’s Festival and all the competing Roses are available at www.roseoftralee.ie

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