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02nd Feb 2017

Rose of Tralee CEO responds to ‘ban on transgender women’

He spoke on the Ray D'arcy show today.

Cathy Donohue

A report in an Irish publication today stated that transgender women are not permitted to enter the Rose of Tralee festival.

However, the CEO of the long-running festival, Anthony O’Gara, set the record straight when speaking on the Ray D’Arcy Show today.

It was reported that women whose gender differed from their birth sex need not apply but Anthony explained that this is not the case.

“Transgender women are women and women are what the Rose of Tralee is all about”.

“There is no ban. We simply said that we were in a place where we had to take time to consider how to handle that issue”.

When asked by Ray about the claims that a spokesperson said the festival was not permitting transgender women, Anthony said this was not meant to come across as a “ban”.

“It’s a sensitive situation that we have to prepare ourselves for but it isn’t the case that transgender women are banned or barred – that would be completely silly”.

The CEO acknowledged that the spokesperson did say they weren’t considering it but this was just pertaining to how they would handle such a situation and prepare for it.

He mentioned that the Rose of Tralee has 70 centres across the world, mainly run by women, and a sensitive issue such as this would be discussed “under the radar” rather than in the public eye as it has been over the last couple of days.

Ray finished up the interview by asking if a transgender woman would be welcome to apply and Anthony replied,”of course”.

That clears that up!