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I’m indifferent to the Rose of Tralee but here’s why cynics like me might be wrong

Tadhg Evans


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Rose of Tralee International Festival host Dáithí Ó Sé with this year's entrants. Photo by Andres Poveda.

Rose of Tralee International Festival host Dáithí Ó Sé with this year's entrants. Photo by Andres Poveda.

Rose of Tralee International Festival host Dáithí Ó Sé with this year's entrants. Photo by Andres Poveda.

kerryman

I’ve little interest in the Rose of Tralee, though I don’t dislike it as that would suggest something greater than indifference on my part. I’m that sad sack who can list All-Ireland champions going back years – to 1950 in the football, ’80 in the hurling if you’re asking – but I don’t know who last won the ‘Rose’ and, owing to COVID, might have to Google when it was held most recently.

You’ll say it's not aimed at me and nobody’s forcing me to watch, and you’re right, and I don’t, because I’ve no inclination to spend several hours – on consecutive nights – listening to recitations, emigration songs, or anecdotes of playing GAA abroad. But hundreds of women apply to be Roses annually, a few thousand multiples of that tune in to RTÉ’s broadcast, and for those reasons, I’ll park my indifference to make the case against people like me. If the ‘Rose’ has an audience and a long list of applicants, all the world’s cynicism won’t put an end to it. As is only right.


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