The Rose of Tralee International Festival is one of Ireland's largest and longest running festivals, celebrating 58 years in 2017. The heart of the festival is the selection of the Rose of Tralee which brings young women of Irish descent from around the world to County Kerry, Ireland for a global celebration of Irish culture. The festival also includes street entertainment, carnival, live concerts, theatre, circus, markets, funfair, fireworks and Rose Parades. 

What does it mean to be 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 end of the International Festival in County Kerry, Ireland every August.

A Rose reflects the intelligence, compassion and independence of modern Irish women. 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 widening of Irish borders and the embracing of our global diaspora in a positive and refreshing way.

A Rose represents the collective aspirations, social responsibilities and ambitions of young women from a variety of communities and backgrounds, united by their desire to celebrate their Irish heritage
 

2017 International Rose of Tralee Maggie McEldowney

The Rose of Tralee
By William Pembroke Mulchinock


The pale moon was rising above the green mountains,
The sun was declining beneath the blue sea,
When I strayed with my love by the pure crystal fountain,
That stands in the beautiful Vale of Tralee.

She was lovely and fair as the rose of the summer,
Yet 'twas not her beauty alone that won me.
Oh no, 'twas the truth in her eyes ever dawning
That made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.

The cool shades of evening their mantle were spreading,
And Mary all smiling was listening to me.
The moon through the valley her pale rays was shedding,
When I won the heart of the Rose of Tralee.

She was lovely and fair as the rose of the summer,
Yet 'twas not her beauty alone that won me.
Oh no, 'twas the truth in her eyes ever dawning
That made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.

In the far fields of India mid war's dreadful thunders,
Her voice was solace and comfort to me.
But the chill hand of death has now rent us asunder,
I'm lonely tonight for the Rose of Tralee.

She was lovely and fair as the rose of the summer,
Yet 'twas not her beauty alone that won me.
Oh no, 'twas the truth in her eyes ever dawning
That made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.



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