By any other name

The Belfast Rose of Tralee has grasped a thorny issue this week. While out shopping for a frock for the contest in Belfast, she was amazed at the lack of awareness of the competition and wants to promote the event up here. Indeed, she would like particularly to see a protestant Rose. Yes, well. My recollection of attending the Rose of Tralee in my younger days is a little hazy. It was always great fun, but I seem to remember there was a drop of drink involved in the week long festival, rainy days and leaking tents. Not sure how that would go down with the Shankill Rose, but it might be interesting! Ashling McDowell is a 22 year old Law Graduate from Queens, and a favourite to win the competition.

  • Rory

    A protestant Rose, Miss Fitz? What next – a dissenter Rose?

    Make no mistakes – this would be all fine with me. Just so long as we don’t have no atheistic Roses. They clearly would have an unfair advantage what with their unnaturally big…. smiles. Besides which what would McGeogh make of it all?

    It’s enough to turn a man homosexual and after that how could he expect to get into heaven? Never mind some branches of the AOH.

  • don

    What about Paul Berry for the Armagh rose ?

  • IJP

    Is it not Aisling McDowell?

    Or is ‘Ashling’ the Protestant version? 🙂

    Actually I knew the favourite to win a few years ago, a ‘Catholic’ of mixed parentage from Ballymena representing ‘the UK’…

  • Miss Fitz

    I dont think that Aisling and Ashling are the taig and prod versions of the name IJP.

    My own daughter is Ashling, but that was because we called the first one Aoife, and were living in the Bronx at the time. There was no possible way of explaining the pronunication to anyone, including teachers or other professionals.

    We took the path of least resistance with the next child, but I am fairly certain I didnt break the Sacred Catholic Guide to Name Spelling for Children.

    (Nice to see you!):)

  • IJP

    ‘Twas a joke, Miss Fitz – although her name is actually spelled Aisling (it’s the Daily Ireland that has it wrong, not you).

  • eranu

    i dont know much about the rose of tralee competition. in my mind i have it associated with the lovely girls competition from father ted. ie, a pretty cheesey beauty competition from somewhere in the country a way down south somewhere.
    i dont think there should be much amazement at the lack of knowledge of it in belfast. in my opinion most peolpe in NI (of whatever religon) take very little interest in the south and so have very little knowledge of things that go on there. i bet most people in belfast said ‘Wha?’ when asked about it. i dont mean to knock anyone, im living in dublin and thats just my observation of protestants and catholics i know back in belfast.

  • Wolfetone

    The main reason no one in the north watches it is because of the brits. Because we can’t get RTE they are stopping us participating in Irish culture. PS How do they pick a winner? Does C Feeney now get to represent Ireland?

  • nmc

    The main reason no one in the north watches it is because of the brits. Because we can’t get RTE they are stopping us participating in Irish culture.

    I can get RTE with a coathanger, and I still wouldn’t watch the Rose of Tralee.

  • Henry94

    One of the best moments in the history of the ROT was Gay Byrne interviewing a Belgian who had learned English during summer visits to the north.

    When asked what she wanted to be the girl said A severe


    What’s that?

    Someone who goes out measuring land


  • circles

    All said though -the tune that Christy Moore does on the ROT is a cracker.
    (last tune on the album – King Puck – who apparently wasn’t a catholic either!!!)