Rose of Tralee winner Maggie defends competition: 'They are being depicted as ungrateful, catty princesses'
The newly crowned Rose of Tralee, Maggie McEldowney, has jumped to the defence of the festival's organisers and her fellow Roses who she believes are being depicted as "ungrateful, catty princesses".
Chicago native Ms McEldowney released a statement yesterday discussing the media coverage of the festival and outlining what she hopes to achieve while acting as the 2016 Rose.
Her comments come after Sydney Rose Brianna Parkins wrote an article titled 'Inside the Rose of Tralee' - which she compared to a "great big Kate Middleton impersonation contest".
Ms Parkins made headlines when she called for a referendum on the Eighth Amendment during one of the televised finals.
However, Ms McEldowney says she has no intention of sharing her political opinions while acting as 2016 Rose.
"My political stances (which I have) will not be in the headlines because this festival is not about me and my opinions," she wrote.
She also said the Roses have been wrongly represented by the media.
"My lovely and spectacular Roses classmates, who are now some of the people I respect most in this world, are being made out to seem like ungrateful, catty princesses who are only in it for the show, and I will not stand for that...
"I will not allow the media to depict [them] in anything but the greatest light their little pens can descriptively portray."