Sydney Rose Brianna Parkins reveals the festival's reaction to her Repeal the Eighth comments

This year's Rose of Tralee will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the most interesting and controversial in years.

Between Fathers 4 Justice storming the stage to Brianna Parkins' comments about abortion and reproductive rights for women in Ireland, the ceremony has been praised by some for finally addressing real issues whilst others felt it has been unnecessarily politicised.

At the heart of it all, however, has been Syndey's Rose Brianna Parkins, herself a journalist for ABC Australia. In a wide-ranging piece for the Irish Times, Parkins admitted that the Rose of Tralee festival were less than pleased with her comments. "I get pulled into a room with the media manager, who tells me I’ve “let him down”. I tell him I feel the same way about having been exposed to the TV crew. He listens to me respectfully and tells me he won’t gag me or punish me."

It makes for some interesting reading, to say the least, particularly about the reaction from the public after the event. As well as describing how her fellow Roses were more than supportive of her decision, one member of the public visibly pulled her daughter away from Parkins when she came near.

As well as this, Parkins describes the lengthy stipulations put on the contestants, such as no smoking in public, a 6AM start every morning of the competition and a ban on social media. Parkins later describes the event "like a great big Kate Midleton impersonation contest."


It's a fascinating piece, one that finally lifts the lid on the Rose of Tralee with a certain degree of honesty. So, the question is this - should the Rose of Tralee continue in its current format or should it be updated? Or should it be scrapped altogether?

Let us know in the comments and vote below.

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