The Rose of Tralee turns 60: Meet the trail-blazing women who dared to be different
She turns 60 in a couple of weeks and continues to divide opinion. Amid biting criticism, some of it justifiable, she persists, and still fetches over a million viewers across a two-night TV spectacle. For some she's a relic of outdated values, for others an exemplar of poise and confidence; but love her or loathe her, the Rose of Tralee is still a bellwether for Middle Ireland. With its flouncy dresses, party-piece jigs and earnest personal soliloquies, it is certainly, in part, anachronistic. In its confines many subjects have been verboten - incidentally or otherwise. For example, it seems especially odd that a subject as frequently discussed - outside of politics - as abortion was not raised until Brianna Parkins broke the fourth wall in 2016.