Louth GAA fitness coach is the 2013 Escort of the Year at the Rose of Tralee Festival

Ami Connolly

Reporter:

Ami Connolly

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Jonny McGailey, from Dromiskin and escort to the Leitrim Rose Edwina Guckian, has won Escort of the Year as he secured the most votes from Roses to win this year’s coveted title.

Jonny McGailey, from Dromiskin and escort to the Leitrim Rose Edwina Guckian, has won Escort of the Year as he secured the most votes from Roses to win this year’s coveted title.

Dáithí Ó Sé announced the result live on RTÉ One television tonight, while Nicky Hill from Newbridge Silverware presented him with a wonderful prize consisting of a 44-piece silver-plated canteen engraved with his family crest, a stylish gents collection of Newbridge jewellery including Rose of Tralee Cufflinks, bracelet, watch, leather belt and wallet and a cheque for €1000.

“I’m absolutely thrilled, it is just icing on top of fantastic cake which has been a brilliant week,” said Jonny.

“It could have been any one of the guys, they are all wonderful chaps and I’m honoured to have been selected.

“I escorted Edwina Guckian the Leitrim Rose, fantastic girl, multi-talented and she has represented Leitrim extremely well and they should be very proud of her, as I’m sure they are. She has had fantastic support with her.”

He said he would love to come back to reunite with the “fantastic escort team”.

Jonny is currently on an internship with Louth GAA working as a strength and conditioning coach and he is heavily involved with local GAA team St Joseph’s GFC, coaching underage levels and he has also coached kids in soccer.

He describes himself as a natural performer who has played acoustic guitar for many years, performing individually and in bands, and was a member of a Westlife tribute band called No-Life.

Jonny won his local GAA club’s Strictly Come Dancing fundraiser, which led to hosting a Man-O-Man competition, and a mock Rose of Tralee charity event.

His unfulfilled dream is to see Blackburn Rovers back in the Premiership and Louth to win a Leinster Championship. Jonny’s favourite book/film is the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Two of his fellow Escorts, Laurence Barry (New York Rose) and Gavin McCabrey (Sydney Rose) were shortlisted in the top three following the vote.