On Friday 14 August 2015 members from the pro-choice feminist group, Speaking of I.M.E.L.D.A. intervened at the Rose of Tralee Festival – the annual festival in Co. Kerry. Based on the song, The Rose of Tralee, the festival centres on an international pageant in which women of Irish descent compete to be crowned Rose for being ‘lovely and fair’. Speaking of I.M.E.L.D.A. subverted Ireland’s traditional pageant to highlight that the lack of reproductive rights on the island of Ireland are far from rosy. Throughout the day Speaking of I.M.E.L.D.A. performed the ‘Rogue Rose of Tralee Pageant’ in a number of locations in Tralee town.
The Rogue Rose of Tralee featured a line up of international contestants who were not judged on their femininity, Irishness nor their personalities. Rather, in this political pageant contestants were judged on the reproductive rights available to them in their home countries. The losers, Ms Northern Ireland and Ms Republic of Ireland, outlined that reproductive rights on the island of Ireland are definitely not ‘lovely and fair.’ Giving rousing speeches they used the platform of the Rogue Rose of Tralee to issue a defiant call for all women on the island of Ireland to have access safe, legal and local abortion.