Sunday 22 January 2017

The top five moments that rocked the Rose of Tralee Dome through festival's history

Tanya Sweeney

Published 24/08/2016 | 07:46

Fiona Canavan mother of Realtin (then aged 7)
Fiona Canavan mother of Realtin (then aged 7)

What could possibly top the drama of Monday night on the Rose of Tralee? Well, we take a look at five moments through the festival's history that rocked the Dome.

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1. In 2008, a pretty big rule change meant that single mothers could enter for the first time, and the first woman to step up to the plate was Fiona Canavan (below), mother of Realtin Canavan (then 7).


2. In 2013, the contest was hit with allegations of a fix after the winner's silverware, engraved with the name of the winner, was broadcast on live television - two days before the final. However, organisers said it was a "coincidence" that the silverware happened to be engraved with the name and crest of the Texas Rose, who won the event two days later.

3. In 2013, New Orleans Rose Molly Gambel found herself sharing the spotlight with boyfriend Kyle. Kyle had stormed the stage and asked his girlfriend to marry him. Her flustered reaction will live on in the annals of ROT history for years.

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4. Dublin Rose Siobheal Nic Eochaidh decided to do away with jigs and reels, performing a modern hip-hop dance to a somewhat bemused audience in 2011.  

5. In 1998, Luzveminda O'Sullivan became the contest's first mixed-race Rose (hailing from Mayo, she was the Philippines Rose, to reflect her Irish-Filipino identity). Philadelphia Rose Sinead De Roiste, became the first African-American contestant in 2004.


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