Rose tackles thorny issue of festival
EVERY year, regular as clockwork, it is criticised.
It's sexist, they say, from a different era, and not representative of modern Ireland.
And every year the Rose of Tralee is stoutly defended, often by those taking part or, in this case, by the reigning winner.
"Modern Irish women are continuing to enter the Rose of Tralee every year, and I don't think sophisticated, young women would put themselves forward to participate if they thought it was in any way old-fashioned," Clare Kambamettu said yesterday.
The 2010 winner was speaking at the launch yesterday of the regional finals for this year's competition.
Judging panels have the task of whittling 51 Roses down to just 32 at the regional finals, which take place in Portlaoise this weekend.
The finalists will then go on to represent their centres in this year's competition proper, which takes place from August 19-23.