Ireland’s abortion laws: Rose of Tralee becomes latest battleground in divisive debate

Brianna Parkins made her comments while being interviewed on stage during the Rose of Tralee

28 August 2016, BBC

The Rose of Tralee, the Republic of Ireland's long-running beauty pageant, is not usually a platform for thorny issues.

But, this week, it became the unlikely battleground in Ireland's ongoing debate over abortion legislation.

Brianna Parkins, the Sydney Rose, sparked the controversy with comments she made live on television to hundreds of thousands of viewers last Monday night.

"I think it is time to give women a say on their own reproductive rights," she told presenter Dáithí Ó Sé.

Her words were unexpected for the Rose of Tralee, a quintessentially Irish tradition that is probably best known for being wholesome and wholly unthreatening, and the reaction on social media was immediate and emotional.

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