A contestant for the Rose Of Tralee said that she will pull out of next year’s event, if she is forced to get vaccinated.
Ohio Rose, Christine Smyth was elected for this year’s event, which was cancelled for the second consecutive year due to the pandemic.
CEO Anthony O’Gara released a statement, “Last year was the first time in our history that the Festival was postponed, and doing so again is difficult for everyone involved and of course for those supporters that look forward to celebrating our global Irish community each August, but we are confident it is the right decision as we all play our part right now in keeping each other safe and well”.
He also added, “The Rose of Tralee International Festival operates on a yearlong basis, in Irish communities worldwide; and we will continue to harness the goodwill of our extended Rose Family in supporting communities and charitable efforts over the next 12 months”.
Rose Of Tralee host “disappointed”
The event’s host Daith O’Sé said that he was “disappointed” that the event would not be going ahead this year too.
“When it’s called, it’s a tough one all the same”, he said. “Everybody is gutted and disappointed that it couldn’t go ahead. We all know why it couldn’t. The main thing really is to keep people safe”.
“By the time we come back in August 2022 we will have three years fully charged into the Rose of Tralee”, he added.
Christine Smyth revealed in her Rose of Tralee bio that she “teaches classes to adults, children, and special needs students so that all may experience the joy of dance”.
Adding that she is a “Regional Champion and World Medal Holder paired with my passion for teaching inspires my life goals”.
“I am a student at Baldwin Wallace University studying Arts Management, Entrepreneurship, & Dance. I love spending my free time with family, and I am so grateful to be a part of the Cleveland Irish Community”.
So much unknown
Since then, Christine Smyth told Radio Kerry, that she will opt out of the show if she is required to get vaccinated for next year’s event.
She said that there is still so much unknown about the vaccine.
“I personally am not vaccinated but I’m happy to have the freedom to make that choice”, she said.
“I’m reluctant just because there are so many unknown currently right now”, she continued. “I know a lot of people who haven’t had any problems, but you hear the other side of the story as well and I feel like once it’s done, it can’t be undone”.
“It might look completely different next year”, she added.
“So I think we just have to cross that bridge when we come to it. Health would be my priority. I wouldn’t want to put my own health at risk to partake in something that is so extremely special but I wouldn’t choose that over my own personal health”.