Down Rose claims Roses were ‘manipulated, bullied and mistreated’

The 2016 Down Rose has hit out at the Rose of Tralee festival, saying she did "not sign up for a cheap reality television show in which our emotions would be manipulated for entertainment purposes".
Down Rose claims Roses were ‘manipulated, bullied and mistreated’
The now-deleted post on the Rose of Tralee Facebook page

Writing on the festival’s Facebook page, Fainche McCormack from Newry said the Roses "were manipulated, bullied and mistreated".

In the now-deleted review post, she also alleged that "cameras intrusively followed us all week and asked inappropriate probing questions" with one girl being asked what colour underwear she was wearing right before she went on stage.

Down Rose Fainche McCormack
Down Rose Fainche McCormack

The 19-year-old, who didn’t make it to the live show, said that "the Rose of Tralee was honestly the most amazing experience of my life, until Sunday morning".

"I, and my fellow rose sisters, did not sign up for a cheap reality television show in which our emotions would be manipulated for entertainment purposes, nor did we sign up to be treated like animals in the circus and held in a room against our will. "

On Sunday morning, in a segment which appeared on RTÉ’s Road to the Dome, the 65 Roses were told if they would make it to final 32. Their escorts brought either a white or red rose to their room and they were then separated into two groups, one of which was told they were going through to the televised final.

The now-deleted post on the Rose of Tralee Facebook page
The now-deleted post on the Rose of Tralee Facebook page

Her post read in full:

"The Rose of Tralee was honestly the most amazing experience of my life, until Sunday morning...I, and my fellow rose sisters, did not sign up for a cheap reality television show in which our emotions would be manipulated for entertainment purposes, nor did we sign up to be treated like animals in the circus and held in a room against our will. Cameras intrusively followed us all week and asked inappropriate probing questions; asking one girl what colour underwear she was wearing right before she went on stage, what’s acceptable about that?

I could go on for days about the many ways we were manipulated, bullied and mistreated; However, up until a certain point, the Rose of Tralee was the experience of a lifetime, every part of a little girl’s dream.

"It’s just a shame that television viewing numbers became more important that the truly amazing girls that got hurt and that now have to deal with the emotional trauma of the whole, quite frankly disgusting and cruel, ordeal. None of us signed up for a cheat reality television show and now unfortunately the Rose of Tralee is an experience I will never forget, for all the wrong reasons.

Yours,

2016 Down Rose"

RTÉ have told us they are unable to comment at this time. We’ve also reached out to Fainche McCormack and the festival organisers.

*UPDATE AT 11*

In a statement, the executive chairman of the festival, Anthony O'Gara, acknowledged that the Sunday morning segment was "insensitive".

"It's a natural thing that people will become very disappointed when they don't progress in the Rose of Tralee. The manner in which the extra TV show, The Road to the Dome, was finished was insensitive and we didn't anticipate that. We wouldn't like to see it repeated and we apologised to the Roses and they accepted that."

Speaking to BreakingNews.ie, Mr O'Gara said:

"We've been running regional finals for the past 10 years and we always get strong reactions from the Roses that don't get through. We understand people are disappointed and this year wasn't any different."

H/T: BreakingNews.ie

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