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21st Aug 2023

RTE’s Kathryn Thomas hits back at claims that Rose Of Tralee is ‘outdated’

This will be Kathryn Thomas’ first-time presenting the show.

Kathryn Thomas has defended the Rose of Tralee festival, which takes place annually in Co. Kerry, following criticism that it’s out-dated.

The RTE star, who will co-host with Daithi O Se, claims the competition has been ‘modernised.’

A number of rules have been refreshed in order to meet present-day standards and become more inclusive.

The Rose of Tralee, which has been running since 1959, now sees the upper age limit being lifted to 29, and transgender competitors are now welcomed to compete.

Kathryn has now responded to some of the backlash the show has faced over the years and defended it, as she believes it has changed in a lot of ways since its inception.

In an interview with the RTE Guide, the Operation Transformation presenter says while the Rose of Tralee has been subject to a ‘bit of flack,’ it’s important to keep the annual contest and festival alive.

“We are celebrating 32 different women from across the globe, celebrating their achievements, their differences, and their confidence.”

Adding to the female-collective energy it fosters, she says it helps women celebrate themselves, which seldom happens.

“I read a line last night in one of the bios about the women, and one of the women said, ‘I cannot wait to get to Ireland to meet all the other Roses who are going to be like me, powerful, confident, and independent.’

“And I just went, ‘When do we celebrate ourselves like that? It is very rare that you get women who say that about themselves and about other women that they are going to be spending the next couple of weeks with, you know.”

The Rose of Tralee festival is well underway in Kerry this week, with the winner being crowned tomorrow night (August 22nd).

The festival also includes street entertainment, a carnival, live outdoor concerts, theatre, a circus, street markets, a funfair, fireworks, and internationally renowned parades.