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Coronavirus Ireland: Five day Rose of Tralee festival 'looking unlikely' - organisers say

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Limerick Rose: Sinéad Flanagan wins the 2019 International Rose of Tralee. Photo by Steve Humphreys

Limerick Rose: Sinéad Flanagan wins the 2019 International Rose of Tralee. Photo by Steve Humphreys

Limerick Rose: Sinéad Flanagan wins the 2019 International Rose of Tralee. Photo by Steve Humphreys

The organisers of the Rose of Tralee say it is 'looking unlikely' that the five day festival will take place this year.

The Tralee based festival, which has been running for 61 years, is due to take part from August 21st - 25th this year.

A large contingent of the women taking part in the Rose of Tralee tend to travel from overseas. Given current Covid-19 restrictions regarding travel and mass gatherings, organisers said it "is unlikely we will be able to deliver the standard festival this year".

The organisers are now 'considering their options' to see if a scaled down version of the festival could take place.

However, they stressed that safety is their top priority and they will follow government guidelines.

All the Rose selection processes have been delayed and postponed as a result of the coronavirus. As a result, there is currently only one 2020 Rose Christine Smyth who will represent Ohio.

For some the Rose of Tralee is a relic of outdated values (the ban on 'unmarried mothers' entering was not lifted until 2008), but the popularity of the competition is indisputable.

The first Rose, Alice O'Sullivan, previously said that while she understands criticism levelled at the festival, the event could be considered as a lens through which to view "the history of modern Irish women".

The reigning rose is Sinéad Flanagan.

Online Editors