Garda investigating alleged racist abuse of newly-crowned Rose of Tralee

Kirsten Mate Maher was in a fast food outlet in Kilkenny when alleged incident occurred

The 2018 Rose of Tralee winner Kirsten Mate Maher discusses her Zambian heritage and the important role immigration plays in the Rose of Tralee festival. Video: RTÉ/Ronan McGreevy


The Garda are investigating an alleged incident involving racist abuse in Kilkenny city believed to have involved the newly-crowned Rose of Tralee, Kirsten Mate Maher.

A spoksman for the Garda Press Office said the Garda in Kilkenny were aware of an incident alleged to have occurred in a fast food outlet on John Street at approximately 3am on Sunday last and that enquiries are ongoing.

Steve Cronly of the Rose of Tralee festival committee said he was aware of the incident and that Ms Maher would not be making any comment.

He said Ms Maher, whose father is from Zambia, had been subjected to racist abuse in the past and that as Rose of Tralee she intents to say there is no place for racism in Ireland.

It is understood the gardaí were called after Ms Maher and her boyfriend called into the fast food outlet while on their way home and a man who was on the premises at the time allegedly made racist comments.