How to Become a Rose

What is a Rose?

Button Big Be a Rose 2014 2

Rose questionnaire2

To apply to be a Rose, all applicants must:

a) Be 18 years of age by January 1st next and will not have reached your 28th birthday on or prior to the following September 1st.

b) Be unmarried or never been married.

c) Be born in Ireland, or an Irish citizen or of Irish origin by virtue of one of your ancestors having been born in Ireland.

d) For applicants residing outside the island of Ireland - be living in the region you wish to represent for a minimum of one year and recommend that if selected as the Rose that you will remain resident in this region for the following 12 months.

e) Never have previously represented any Centre as a Rose in the Regional Festival or International Rose of Tralee Selection.

f) Be available for Rose Selection events and if selected be available for the Regional Festival and International Festival events.


Qualities of a Rose

The qualities of a Rose are defined by the words of the song The Rose of Tralee and crystallised by the young woman who is chosen as the Rose of Tralee at the International Festival.

Over the years our Roses have mirrored a changing Ireland and the definition of Irishness that is celebrated by so many different people around the world. Roses have come to reflect the aspirations of modern young Irish women and embrace our global diaspora in a positive and refreshing way.

A Rose represents the collective aspirations, social responsiblities and ambitions of a variety of communities and backgrounds, united by a desire to celebrate Irish heritage.

In the words of a Rose:

"The Roses are actually only one part of the festival. The festival is a week of events (most of which we weren’t even at!) that brings people to Kerry to celebrate their Irish heritage and culture. Yes, the TV nights look very beauty pageant-like and there are all sorts of corny conversations and performances (mine included) but again, that is only one part of the festival and it’s the part that most of Ireland knows about.

RTÉ puts on two nights of entertainment which they hope will trend on Twitter and create conversation. Like anything on television, you don’t have to watch it but in no way do I think it is damaging to the feminist movement or promoting superficiality. 

One commentator asked why unattractive, unemployed women can’t enter and beside the fact that they can, I think the festival is about celebrating women who raise the bar and are confident, hardworking, intelligent role models. It’s a double standard and patronising to ask women to lower the bar to be more inclusive when the rest of the world celebrates excellence. I can’t remember the last ‘average’ athlete that made it to the Olympics and was on the telly." 


So You Want to Be a Rose? 

All you need to do is complete a Rose Questionnaire and your local Rose Centre will contact you with more information on the events they are holding in your area.

We wish you every success and perhaps it will be our pleasure to welcome you to the Festival as a Rose!  


What is the Selection Process?

Roses are chosen by centres throughout the world including the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, Luxembourg, Germany and of course Ireland. Entrants are nominated by local businesses or organisations and take part in local heats to find one person who will represent the centre in the final. 

Judges consider many different attributes including, in the words of William Mulchinock's song The Rose of Tralee, an indefinable quality that captures "the truth in her eyes". The Rose of Tralee International Festival celebrates modern young women in terms of their aspirations, ambitions, intellect, social responsibility and Irish heritage.

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