Philadelphia Rose Maria Walsh after winning the festival last month.

Rose of Tralee executive chairman Anthony O’Gara has accused critics of the festival of peddling “boorish nonsense”. Mr O’Gara responded to rec(...)

Ronan McGreevy The judges who chose the Rose of Tralee probably knew Maria Walsh was gay but were not interested in her sexuality, the executive chair(...)

 Rose of Tralee 2014 Maria Walsh. She said the question of her sexuality never came up during the festival and was not relevant in any case. Photograph:  Domnick Walsh /Eye Focus 1:36

The new Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh has said she has received positive feedback since going public on being gay. Ms Walsh said the question of her sex(...)

Philadelphia Rose Maria Walsh has spoken of her confidence as a gay woman : Domnick Walsh/Eye Focus 1:36

The new Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh has spoken of her confidence as a gay woman and said the question of her sexuality never arose during the festival.(...)

Lay reader David Tough takes a picture of Donegal Rose Catherine McCarron and 2012 Rose of Tralee Nicola McEvoy after morning service at St. John’s Church, Tralee, Co Kerry, yesterday. Photograph: Domnick Walsh/Eye Focus

Mass doesn’t usually get a warm-up act, but I’m at “Mass with the Roses” in St John’s Church, Tralee. There are seven Roses here and it’s being aired (...)