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When lovely girls are lovely no more: Rose of Tralee chairman hits out at Fr Ted jibes

The organiser has taken aim at “boorish nonsense from uninformed opinion writers”.

Image: Elvert Barnes/Flickr

THE ROSE OF TRALEE chairman has hit out at critics of the festival branding them “faux intellectuals”.

It seems that chairman Anthony O’Gara has had enough enough of the persistent ‘lovely girls’ jibes that have dogged the festival since the 1990s.

In an open letter on the festival’s website O’Gara states that it is “time to correct some misconceptions about the Rose of Tralee festival”. In the letter he sets about straightening out “zealous, angry, if perhaps misguided social commemorators”.

The organiser goes on to condemn “boorish nonsense from uninformed opinion writers”.

In the statement the chairman asserts that the festival is not about:

Paddy Whackery, Colleens on Parade, Stepford Wives tricked out as national stereotypes, flagrant misogyny or masquerading as Irish culture.

He describes the event as being in place to “celebrate exceptional women and accept them as the proud people they are, whatever that might be”.

O’Gara goes on to encourage the public to “Please, get over the outdated ‘lovely girls’ joke. We have”.

The Rose of Tralee has been the subject of jibes since an episode of Channel 4 Sitcom Father Ted that centered around the Craggy Island ‘Lovely Girls’ competition.

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Source: Channel 4/YouTube

The competition, which has been running since 1959, caused a reaction when it crowned its first gay Rose last month. The 27-year-old Philadelphia Rose Marie Walsh opened up about her sexuality after the competition in an interview with the Sun on Sunday.

Speaking about her sexuality she said:

To me, being gay is normal. I told my parents and they were supportive, as I knew they would be. I’m not ashamed of my sexuality by any means.

Marie Walsh is set to appear on tonight’s Late Late Show on RTE 1 in her first televised interview since winning the Rose of Tralee last month.

Read: Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh reveals that she’s gay

Also: The Rose of Tralee did the Ice Bucket Challenge in her sash and tiara

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