Monday 23 July 2018

'It would be almost selfish to think about your beliefs' - 2016 Rose of Tralee Maggie McEldowney says festival should be apolitical

Maggie McEldowney posing after winning her crown last year. Photo: Frank McGrath
Maggie McEldowney posing after winning her crown last year. Photo: Frank McGrath
Maggie McEldowney
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

The 2016 Rose of Tralee Maggie McEldowney believes that whoever is crowned tonight should steer clear of airing their opinions on controversial subject matters.

Last year, Sydney Rose Brianna Parkins sparked a nationwide debate when she called for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment on The Dome stage.

McEldowney said she believes the festival should remain apolitical.

“If every single one of us got up there with their own political [views] it would be a mud slinging contest and that is not what it’s about,” she told Independent.ie.

The reigning Rose of Tralee Maggie McEldowney
The reigning Rose of Tralee Maggie McEldowney

“It’s about building women up not bringing each other down or fighting with each other or contradicting theories or statistics."

McEldowney believes that once you are a Rose Sister you must think on a global scale not a personal one.

Sydney Rose Brianna Parkins sparked thorny debate
Sydney Rose Brianna Parkins sparked thorny debate

“Having the responsibility of representing the festival, you realise that there are a million different opinions, different political views, different life choices,” she said.

“You realise that you are representing something bigger than yourself and it would almost be selfish to think about your beliefs or worry about what I want. You want to think globally, you want to help other people.”

Asked if she thought it was appropriate of Brianna to discuss the issue of the Eighth Amendment Maggie said; “I have all the respect for her and she’s happy to say whatever she wants as Bri but not as the 2016 Sydney Rose.”

Read more: 'I had death threats and rape threats - but it was worth it' - last year's Sydney Rose Brianna Parkins reflects on a 'strange' year

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