Rose Racism Probe Continues

Eoghan Dalton Reports

Gardaí are continuing to investigate an incident where the Rose of Tralee was allegedly the subject of racial abuse on a night out in Kilkenny.
Waterford Rose Kirsten Maté Maher, from Mullinavat in Kilkenny was in a takeaway on John Street when an incident is understood to have taken place.
Gardaí previously told The Munster Express they had “plenty of witnesses” to speak to for the investigation. Ms Maté Maher, who works as a stylist in Tramore, was crowned Rose of Tralee a fortnight ago and is the first African-Irish winner. The alleged incident was described as deeply disturbing by Una Dunphy of Waterford People Before Profit. “Any instance of racism is an attack on the community,” she said, adding:

Rose of Tralee Kirsten Maté Maher.

Rose of Tralee Kirsten Maté Maher.

“As soon as she was chosen as Rose of Tralee, Kirsten said she was asking people to ‘Just be sound’. Her message of friendship, consideration and kindness is what our community needs, and ignorance and harassment should be condemned whenever it breaks out.”She noted that Waterford PBP is affiliated to United Against Racism and said that people must work and organise “to create a country rooted in good will and solidarity”.Meanwhile, a broad alliance of anti-racism and religious groups will come together at a public meeting to be held this Wednesday night at 7.30pm until 8.30pm in the Unite Hall, Keyser St Waterford.Also involving local trade union branches, its aim is to organise a campaign to protest the visit of US President Donald Trump’s visit to Ireland, announced last week.The agenda of the meeting is to establish a committee to organise transport for mooted national demonstrations as well as to discuss the possibilities of a local demonstration for the November visit.

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