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Dublin: 19 °C Wednesday 27 May, 2020

Investigation launched after claims the Rose of Tralee was racially abused in a takeaway

The incident allegedly happened in the early hours of Sunday morning in Kilkenny city.

60  Rose Of Tralee_90550767Kirsten Mate MaherSource: Leon Farrell/

GARDAÍ IN KILKENNY are investigating an alleged incident of racial abuse involving the Rose of Tralee winner Kirsten Mate Maher.

An incident involving Waterford Rose Maher, who is of mixed race, and her boyfriend is alleged to have taken place in Kilkenny in the early hours of Sunday morning.

It's understood that the couple were buying food at a takeaway on John Street in the city at about 3am when they were accosted by two males who subjected her to racial abuse.

Gardaí were subsequently called and it's understood that statements were taken from all those present.

"Gardaí in Kilkenny are aware of an alleged incident that occurred in a fast food restaurant on John Street, Kilkenny on Sunday 26 August 2018 at approximately 3am," a Garda spokesperson said.

Inquiries are on going.

"Regrettably, Kirsten has been subjected to racial abuse from people in the past and it is something that she and many others in Ireland have to deal with on a regular basis," a spokesperson for the Rose of Tralee festival said.

As the Rose of Tralee, Kirsten intends to highlight the fact that society in Ireland is becoming more diverse and that there is no place for racism.

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Maher emerged victorious at the 59th Rose of Tralee festival last week, becoming the first ever African Irish winner, and the third Waterford Rose to claim the title.

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