The Rose of Tralee festival is back after a two-year hiatus, and yesterday there was a standing ovation among 33 competitors for new rules that reflect modern times.
Married women will now be able to participate, the maximum age of participants has been raised to 29 and transgender women can also participate.
Galway Rose Clare Ann Irwin said it was “wonderful” that the entry criteria had been expanded.
“It won’t affect me directly because I’m not married, I’m not transgender and I’m only 26, but I think it’s absolutely amazing,” she said.
“Why aren’t they allowed to celebrate and participate in what is such a comprehensive and incredible festival?
“At the end of the day, it celebrates women, and I think the changes to the criteria are also really a sign of the times and how progressive we have become as a nation.
“In my opinion, no matter what, married women and women in their 20s have more life experience later on.
“It’s amazing how different women from all walks of life are brought together.”
Jenny Byrne (25), Cork Rose this year, said she wholeheartedly agrees with the move to extend the maximum age of entry to 29.
“I think it’s good that slightly older women are allowed in because I’m 25 and years ago I would have probably felt a bit of a pressure to get in before time ran out.
“At least with the extended age, it gives us a little more time. I still consider women in their 30s to be young women.
“Anything that pushes the festival forward and brings it closer to the 21st century and becomes mainstream accepted is great.
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“We’re constantly seeing the festival and society in general change and evolve, so I think it’s great that we’re moving with the times.”
Rachel Duffy (23), who represents Westmeath, is happy that something as traditional as the Rose of Tralee is moving with the times.
“I think Rose of Tralee is something very traditional in terms of Irish culture and Irish life, and in many ways Ireland has come a long way in the last 30 or 40 years in terms of inclusion and diversity,” she said. .
“And I think now seeing Rose of Tralee create a space for people to just be themselves and be proud of who they are, no matter how they identify, or whether they are single or married. or having children, I think that’s great.
“It’s great to see it move with the times. There’s always room for improvement, and seeing Rose of Tralee make those improvements, I think that’s amazing.”
All three women said they decided to participate in local Rose competitions to make new friends because they wanted to socialize after the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I thought participating in the Cork Rose competition would be a great way to make new friends and get to know some of the people in my hometown that I had moved away from and then moved back to,” Ms. Byrne said.
“And I think after Covid too, we were also very lonely when we were stuck at home. I ended up meeting some really lovely girls that I still keep in touch with. It’s a great way to get to know some new people. “
Ms Irwin said she entered the Galway Rose contest because many of her friends had emigrated and she wanted to meet new people, but she also wanted to share her story about working in a male-dominated job. owner.
She was the first female funeral home director and embalmer to work in her family’s funeral business since the company was founded in 1834.
After working as a teacher for three years, she decided to take her real career as a funeral home business, but at a young age she was discouraged from pursuing a career because of her gender.
“I am very happy in the funeral business. I could have continued teaching – it’s a lovely job and I love it, but I know deep down that’s not my real purpose. “
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/television/why-shouldnt-married-and-transgender-women-be-allowed-to-take-part-in-rose-of-tralee-contestants-welcome-more-inclusive-pageant-41909179.html ‘Why aren’t married and transgender women allowed to participate in Rose of Tralee?’ Contestants welcome more comprehensive competition