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Andres Poveda/RN
Rose of Tralee

Married and trans women can enter the Rose of Tralee, organisers confirm

Organisers also extended the age bracket to include those up to the age of 29.

MARRIED AND TRANS women can now enter the Rose of Tralee International Festival, organisers have announced in an update to its entry requirements.

Executive Chair of the festival Anthony O’Gara said it has been the case that trans women could enter the festival but “we haven’t stated possibly strongly enough in the past”.

The annual festival, which sees women of Irish descent from all over the world compete for a chance to be crowned Rose of Tralee, also extended the age bracket to include those up to the age of 29.

“You can’t have reached your 30th birthday by 1 September,” O’Gara said of the new rules which previously meant entrants had to be at least 18 and be under the age of 29.

“We’re confirming that married women can enter, and somebody who identifies as a woman, as a female would be very, very welcome to enter,” O’Gara told Radio Kerry.

“So that has been the case, but we haven’t stated possibly strongly enough in the past. So we just want to confirm that.”

Following a 2017 report that there was a ban on trans competitors, O’Gara said that transgender women were welcome to apply to become a Rose.

In 2020, the Rose of Tralee was cancelled for the first time since the festival began 61 years previously. It was originally postponed to August 2021 and applications had opened to take part in the festival before it too was cancelled as a result of Covid-19.

O’Gara also told the station that organisers of next year’s festival are “looking closely” at hosting some of the competition at Munster Technological University as it “would make more financial sense”.

The dome marquee, which is usually home to the festival, would still be erected as a venue to host events every night in the town.