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Last night's Gala evening at the Carlton Hotel Blanchardstown was a great success. The evening had joint celebrations as it marked the first official night of the Rose of Tralee Tour but also the Grand Opening of hotel, the newest edition to the Carlton Group. I must say the hotel looked very well and the night was a credit to the staff and management at the new hotel.

I must congratulate Clare Kambamettu on her speech as she came across very well. She spoke to the Roses during her speech telling them to make the most of the next two weeks and she also told us a little about her year, including her trip to India. The evening continued on with a beautiful meal, with even a few sparklers appearing on our chocolates for dessert! We were entertained throughout the night by the Dublin Gospel Choir, and later by The Men in Black who had everyone on the dance floor. The Sunderland Rose Niamh O'Connell joined in on the entertainment by showing us the banana dance the she had taught the rest of the Roses. It was a great evening to showcase the newest addition to the Carlton and a chance for everyone to meet this year's Roses.

This morning the Roses checked out of the Carlton Hotel Dublin Airport as they set off for the Carlton Abbey Hotel where they will be greeted by Rose of Tralee and Athy native Clare Kambamettu.  They will visit attractions in Birr, including the Dartfield Horse Museum & Heritage Centre, from which a succession of vintage cars will collect them and take them to the Carlton Shearwater Hotel & C Spa in Ballinasloe for this evening's event. I'll be back again with another update tomorrow with all the information on tonight's event!

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