“I entered @RoseofTralee_ with a tongue piercing, physics degree & a willingness to represent my county on a national stage. I understand that not everyone agrees with it, but it is a hugely important network for the diaspora&Irish culture. I loved my year as Rose”
The Rose of Tralee means different things to different people, for some it’s about heritage and culture, for others it’s about bumper cars and glow sticks. One thing for sure is that The Rose of Tralee differentiates itself from swimsuit pageants and goat ceremonies.
Exceptional women from across the globe enter the competition with the chance of being crowned the Rose of Tralee, some have tongue piercings, some recite poetry, some even campaigned for abortion, and yes they are all lovely girls.
Sadly not everyone gets the chance to see the pale moon rising above the green mountains, here are some of this year’s fantastic entrants who didn’t makes it to the final stage of the competition:
Sponsored by Mary Black in the earlier rounds but unfortunately Ahed Tamimi couldn’t make it to Kerry because she was in jail for slapping an Israeli soldier. On 24 March 2018, Tamimi agreed to a plea bargain with prosecutors whereby she would serve eight months in prison and pay a 5,000-shekel ($1,437) fine.
Arabia’s entry couldn’t make it as she was arrested for offences including calling for the release of political prisoners and an end to anti-Shia government discrimination. She has been sentenced to death for political activity and is likely to face a public execution by beheading under Saudi ‘anti-terrorism’ legislation.
Atena was imprisoned for drawing political cartoons which satirised the government, in effect drawing Iranian leaders as monkeys and cows. After her sentencing Atena was subjected to a 'pregnancy test' and a 'virginity test' for shaking her lawyer's hand. Amnesty International considers her a prisoner of conscience. More than a year and a half after she was first arrested, and after a huge international campaign for her release, Atena was freed from prison on 3 May 2016.
Berta Carceras was a Honduran environmental activist, indigenous leader, and co-founder and coordinator of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH). Cáceres was shot in her bedroom just before midnight on 2 March 2016, a year after winning the prestigious Goldman Prize for leading a campaign against the Agua Zarca dam on the Gualcarque river, considered sacred by the indigenous Lenca community.
Wu Rongrong is best known for being one of China’s “Feminist Five” – a group of women arrested in 2015 for planning a campaign to tackle sexual harassment. The arrests, which coincided with International Women’s Day, led to an international outcry, garnering support from the likes of Hillary Clinton. Although the women were released, the “Feminist Five” have remained under surveillance. Prior to her arrest, Wu Rongrong was a leader of the Women’s Rights Action Group, whose bold, creative stunts have drawn public attention to gender inequality and sexism. The group have shaved their heads to protest against discriminatory higher college admission requirements for female applicants, and worn wedding dresses spattered with red ink to protest against domestic violence.