Entertainment Festivals

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Sydney Rose 2016 Brianna Parkins wants to come to Ireland to support Repeal campaign

Sydney Rose Brianna Parkins
Sydney Rose Brianna Parkins
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

The 2016 Sydney Rose of Tralee Brianna Parkins says she would love to return to Ireland next year to support the Repeal campaign.

Journalist Parkins made headlines in 2016 when she called for a repeal of the eighth amendment on stage at The Dome in Tralee.

“I think it is time to give women a say on their own reproductive rights,” she told host Daithi O’Se.

“I would love to see a referendum on the eighth coming up soon. That would be my dream.”

Parkins,  is currently living and working in Sydney but says she would travel back to Ireland in the run up to the referendum.

“I would love to go back and do advocacy work,” she said.

OffalyRose Jennifer Byrne who was crowned as the 2017 International Rose of Tralee at the Festival in Tralee Co Kerry.
Pic Steve Humphreys
22nd August 2017
OffalyRose Jennifer Byrne who was crowned as the 2017 International Rose of Tralee at the Festival in Tralee Co Kerry. Pic Steve Humphreys 22nd August 2017

“It depends if my employers gives me leave…I am friendly with the organisations and it would be great to help them out.”

Parkins who is pro-choice also defended the decision of this year’s Rose of Tralee Jennifer Byrne not to speak about on the Eighth.

Jennifer (24) is a junior doctor specialising in general practice with particular focus on women's health and, in particular, obstetrics and gynaecology. 

Some were critical of her decision to remain quiet.

However Parkins says she is perfectly entitled to keep her opinions to herself.

“I don’t think it’s my place to instruct women on how to feel about these issues,” she said.

“It is a double bind. If you believe in choice you have got to respect a woman’s right from refraining on commenting on an issue.”

She added; “It is really hard when you are pro-choice you just want people to get up and stand up. And I think I was a victim of that early on …but my brand of feminism is about women choosing to do whatever they want to do.

“And if that means not speaking out or being pro-life than that’s their choice. And the important thing is choice”.

Jennifer Byrne’s professional position as a doctor may also complicate things, Parkins said.

“I know Doctors in Australia are quite bound by what they can say …because it is still actually illegal in this State [New South Wales], it is still in the criminal code.

“So they are bound professionally when they give advice. So I understand why she might tread more carefully given that.

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

'It would be almost selfish to think about your beliefs' - 2016 Rose of Tralee Maggie McEldowney says festival should be apolitical Kirsty Blake Knox: Thorny comments about Roses giving their opinions hark back to bygone era

Online Editors

Entertainment Newsletter

Going out? Staying in? From great gigs to film reviews and listings, entertainment has you covered.

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top