This year's Westmeath Rose has a very unusual party piece

Dáithí Ó Sé better lay off the chocolate bickies till August!

This year's Westmeath Rose has a very unusual party piece

Forget about the ballads and brush dances because this year the Westmeath Rose has a very unusual party piece, writes Sally Gorman.

Renowned world wide, the Rose of Tralee Festival takes place this August and Westmeath woman Leanne Quinn is gearing up for her break-the-mould party piece #ProjectDáithí.

In a first for the festival, Leanne hopes to squat the show's host Dáithí Ó Sé live on stage in the Dome.

No, we aren't kidding!

Leanne is a qualified personal trainer and is currently studying an MSc. in Sports Performance at the University of Limerick so she is no stranger to the gym.

The power-lifter was crowned the Westmeath Rose back in April in Mullingar's Annebrook Hotel and on the night of her selection, the 24-year-old initially planned to squat 2017 Westmeath Rose, Eva Cooney.

Eva however, was deemed "far too valuable should anything go wrong" and it was then that Eugene Sheehy - a male judge on the night and former Rose Escort - stepped up to the mark.

During the Westmeath Rose selection night, Leanne squatted male judge Eugene Sheehy - a previous Rose Escort. Eugene weighs approx 86kg.
During the Westmeath Rose selection night, Leanne squatted male judge Eugene Sheehy - a previous Rose Escort. Eugene weighs approx 86kg.

According to Leanne, Eugene weighed approximately 86kg!

It all came about from a conversation I had with last year's Westmeath Rose, Eva Cooney about power-lifting and the training that I was doing and she simply asked me if I could lift her as my party piece come selection night. I agreed but she was subsequently deemed far too valuable should anything go wrong.

The lift on the night went down so well that Leanne has now set herself the challenge of squatting none other than presenter Dáithí Ó Sé in the Dome this August.

At the moment, Leanne can squat triple digits but she has no idea what the man himself weighs.

I have no idea what weight Daíthí is at the moment, I'm just going to train away and hope it's there on the day.

Leanne only has one request for the Kerry man - that her lays off the chocolate bickies from now until August!

This year's Westmeath Rose Leanne Quinn (25) from Kinnegad is currently studying an MSc. Sports Performance in UL. Photos: Nicola Reynolds
This year's Westmeath Rose Leanne Quinn (25) from Kinnegad is currently studying an MSc. Sports Performance in UL. Photos: Nicola Reynolds

"It's something very different and to my knowledge has not been seen before on the Rose of Tralee," she said.

Leanne is currently working on her thesis with academy and sub academy players in Munster Rugby whilst also working at Studio One Fitness in Limerick and carrying out all her Rose duties...we can barely keep up!

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