It was a Tuesday evening family dinner chat. Then someone mentioned the Rose of Tralee ‘beauty pageant’, which was on TV that night. It’s not traditionally quite as exciting as The Late Late Toy Show, but it is one of those occasions in the Irish calendar when parents meekly accept that children can stay up late to watch it.
There’s always a Twitter wag who can cut to the quick of what a lot of us are thinking: Imagine a competition where men line up in their finery to be interviewed by Gráinne Seoige and to dance a jig while their dads weep in the audience and say how much they love their Irish granny. No? Too much to imagine?
Sixty years on, and dozens of roses, frocks and party pieces later, the Rose of Tralee International Festival has returned to the Kingdom writes Jess Casey. Love it or loathe it, the annual festival has seen both its ups and downs through its long history, including a televised proposal, financial woes, a gatecrashing priest and a potential boycott.
The parents of a man beaten to death by a neighbour who was undergoing a psychotic episode have told the Central Criminal Court that it is "unacceptable" that someone so dangerous and known to mental health services was living just a few doors from their "defenceless" son.
Rural Affairs Minister Michael Ring has warned "anything could happen" in the battle for the final two seats in the Midlands North West European election when the official counts start to be announced tonight.