Wednesday 22 November 2017

'Why doesn’t the Sydney Rose mind her own business and get the first flight home?' - Rose of Tralee contestant at centre of social media storm

Brianna Parkins ‏thanked her backers for their support last night.
Brianna Parkins ‏thanked her backers for their support last night.

Tomás Heneghan

This year’s Sydney Rose at the Rose of Tralee has sparked an Irish social media storm, with the hashtag #SydneyRose trending on Twitter on Monday night and again on Tuesday morning.

During her broadcasted appearance at the annual Kerry competition, Brianna Parkins called for reproductive rights for Irish women and a referendum on the controversial Eighth Amendment.

Well-known Irish figures soon came out in support of Parkins, praising her for raising the issue at what is sometimes viewed as a conservative event.

Father Ted writer, Graham Linehan, who previously went public with his wife about their termination of pregnancy in the UK, commented: “Boom! The Lovely Girls competition gets real!”

Journalist Colette Browne and actor and writer Tara Flynn also posted messages of support and thanks to the Sydney Rose.

Parkins, who works as an Australian journalist later posted an image of herself wearing a ‘Repeal the 8th’ t-shirt, alongside a message thanking people for their support for her comments.

The t-shirt was produced by the Hun Real Issues website following the removal of a mural carrying the same image at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin.

Despite the majority of comments praising Parkins for her position, not everyone responded positively to her intervention in the Irish abortion debate.

Brother of Pro Life Campaign chairperson, Cora Sherlock and owner of website, Leo Sherlock expressed his disappointment in the Rose’s statement.

Writing on Twitter he said: “Why doesn’t the #SydneyRose mind her own business and get the first flight home. Don’t wait till tomo[sic], you haven’t a chance!”

He added: “Anyone outside Ireland, be it the Sydney Rose or George Soros, shouldn’t have a say in the way we run our country.”

However other Twitter users were quick to point out that despite not having a vote in the US presidential elections, Sherlock had previously posted a message of support for Donald Trump on his Twitter account, alongside an image of himself wearing a cap which read: “Make America great again”.

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