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21st Jun 2023

A male alternative to the Rose of Tralee is taking place in Mullingar next month

Stephen Porzio

Bachelor Festival

They’ve missed a trick by not calling it The Bros of Tralee…

The 2023 edition of the Westmeath Bachelor Festival will take place next month in Mullingar.

Described as a “male alternative” to The Rose of Tralee, the competition aims to find Ireland’s most eligible bachelor.

“The beautiful women of Ireland have always had a chance to shine in many pageants and on Ladies’ Day at racecourses the country over,” a statement for the event reads.

“Now it’s time for the men of Ireland to step into the spotlight and show the nation they have what it takes to be the face of Ireland’s modern man.”

In last year’s iteration of the competition, the youngest entrant was 21 and the oldest was 62. The final 13 of Ireland’s most eligible bachelors were whittled down from hundreds of entrants.

The shortlisted contestants had to undergo rigorous questions from the celebrity judging panel, as well as perform a talent piece. Examples of the latter last year included singing, stand-up comedy, a traditional ‘brush dance’, ventriloquism and cocktail making.

Bachelor Festival

Sarah Jane Foster (host of the competition), Bryan Murphy (2022 winner) Shane Barkey (host)

25-year-old Kerry farmer and musician Bryan Murphy ultimately came out victorious, being crowned The Westmeath Bachelor of the Year for 2022. He is said to have won over judges with his “charismatic personality and captivating performance on the accordion”.

This year’s judging line-up features music manager Louis Walsh, journalist Anne Doyle, TV presenter Brian Ormond and businesswoman Pippa O’Connor.

Along with the title of Westmeath Bachelor, the winner of the contest receives an all-inclusive holiday to Ibiza, a new wardrobe and a cash donation to their chosen charity.

The festival will take place on Saturday, 29 July. Tickets are on sale now from the Mullingar Arts Centre’s website.

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