Trans women now able to enter the Rose of Tralee under new rule change
The Rose of Tralee is getting a massive rule change and has announced that the event will now "welcome" anyone who identifies as a woman.
While the event has been postponed the last two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, executive chair Anthony O'Gara confirmed on Radio Kerry that there will be a number of changes made to the 2022 competition.
He said: "We're extending the age up to 29 now. We're confirming that married women can enter, as can somebody who identifies as a female will be welcome to enter.
"That has been the case but perhaps we haven't stated it strongly enough in the past but we want to confirm that."
While more inclusivity here is great news, it is followed by some sad news as O'Gara has confirmed the Dome won't be used for the 2022 festival.
For next year's Rose of Tralee, it is set to be held at the Munster Technological University instead of the Dome marquee.
He also confirmed that there was interest from other organisers in having events around both Kerry and the rest of Ireland, with host Daithí O'Sé defending the event earlier this year.
The presenter said: "We did a look back of my 10 years as host last year and you talk to the people of Tralee, what it means to them.
“Then there’s the economic side, it’s worth €10 million a year to the town.
“For people who don’t like it, there’s nothing I’m going to say after 10 years hosting it at this stage that is going to change their mind."
The 2021 event was initially postponed until August of last year, but ultimately cancelled for the first time in the competition's 61 year history.
"Over the past few weeks, our team have been considering how best we could safely deliver some, or all, of our 2020 Festival events," O'Gara said.
"Taking into account Government guidelines, the safety of our communities and the ability to deliver a wonderful Festival; we have decided to postpone our 2020 Festival until August 2021.
"This is the first time in our 61 year history that the Festival has been postponed, but it is the right decision as we all play our part right now in keeping each other safe and well."