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I know most of you are used to reading my colleague, Michael Kearney's, opinions on this blog but I've decided to give him a bit of a break and have taken it over for a while. From now on I'll be blogging every few weeks, keeping you up to date on all that's happening across Carlton hotels. This is my first time writing on the blog but I'm sure I will get the hang of it soon enough! I'll also be continuing with the guest blog slot so you never know Michael might be back from time to time if I allow him – only joking.

So I suppose the big news this week is that I'm going to be a Rose of Tralee International judge for the first time this year, I guess the blog isn't my only first this summer. I normally spend a lot of time in Tralee around the festival as the Carlton Group are one of the main sponsors but no doubt I will have a much different experience this time around. I must admit I am looking forward to getting involved with all the judging duties and of course getting to meet all the Roses. The festival this year is going to be bigger than ever with ‘The Gathering Ireland' so I picked the perfect year to try my hand at judging. The festivities will kick off at the Carlton Blanchardstown on the 12th of August as the Roses start their Rose Tour around Ireland, ending in Tralee on the Fri 16th for the Rose Ball that night – the largest Black Tie event in the country I hear. I'll make sure to keep you informed on all that's happening in Tralee with a blog post as often as I can. And of course we will also have regular guest blogs as the Roses visit some of our hotels on the Rose Tour.

On my leisure time I love to get out to the sea off the west coast of Ireland and this amazing weather has really helped me to make the most of my weekends. So let's continue to enjoy this heat wave as there is nowhere in the world as beautiful as Ireland when the sun shines.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend and don't forget the sunscreen!!!

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