Politician’s shuffle: Ring favours Katie, breaks hearts of Roses

First there was the Ali shuffle, then its John Joe Nevin Mullingar equivalent.

And now, courtesy of a politician whose dance card has been double booked, we have a Rose of Tralee-inspired version of the popular quick-footed routine.

Junior sport and tourism minister, Michael Ring, had been pencilled in to meet and greet this year’s participants at a major celebration in Westport, Co Mayo.

However, after the full Olympics homecoming was arranged for yesterday in the Mansion House in Dublin, Mr Ring was left with two options: Turn down a national celebration with Katie Taylor, the country’s most bankable sports star; or duck and dive his way to meet the Olympian, breaking the hearts of the Roses.

Thankfully, despite the let down — and the weather literally raining on their parade — the west of Ireland stage of this week’s pre-Rose of Tralee journey led to wild celebrations in Westport last night.

On one of the final legs of the trip to Tralee, this year’s contestants were wowed with a local fireworks display, meetings with the town’s dignitaries and a casino night in aid of the Aware depression prevention charity.

This morning the Roses — two of whom are from Cork — will travel another step closer to Tralee.

For people hoping to catch the first part of this year’s celebrations at tomorrow night’s 800-person Rose ball, tickets costing €150 per head are available from www.roseoftralee.ie.

The prices have not fallen since the height of the boom in 2007.


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