Parents of late Rose of Tralee contestant to fund festival HQ

The Rose of Tralee Festival will soon have its own headquarters, thanks to the parents of a deceased Rose contestant.

Parents of late Rose of Tralee contestant to fund festival HQ

Dick and Eileen Henggeler — the parents of the late Dorothy Henggeler, the 2011 Washington, DC Rose — Dorothy (Dott) who died last year, have succeeded in their bid to buy Fels Point Hotel, in Tralee.

The purchase from Nama will be completed on June 4, following a protracted bidding process that lasted more than 12 weeks.

Dorothy (Dott) died from a brain tumour at the family home in Baltimore in April 2014.

Fels Point Hotel has been home to the festival since 2007 and festival executive chairman Anthony O’Gara yesterday said the successful outcome of the bid will strengthen the long-term development and viability of the long-running event.

Mr O’Gara, who will become managing director of Fels Point Hotel, thanked the Henggelers for their philanthropic gesture which will see profits from the hotel being reinvested into the development of the dome.

“It has long been an ambition of all the organisers of the 56-year festival to build a permanent dome and that goal will now be achieved,” he said.

“We can now unlock the full potential of the festival and put plans in place to develop a permanent entertainment and conference centre on the site adjacent to the hotel. Such a development, in partnership with Kerry County Council, will provide a major boost to the local economy in Tralee and Kerry.”

It is hoped the centre will attract extra conference/events business to Tralee and Mr O’Gara said it would be a stand-out building, architecturally, and different to anything anywhere else in the country.

  • This year’s Rose of Tralee festival takes place from August 14-18.

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