THE Sydney Rose reignited the debate over abortion in Ireland on Monday night by leading calls for a repeal of the Eighth Amendment.
Brianna Parkins from Sydney made the comments at the Rose of Tralee 2016 and her words have caused a stir online.
In the end, Parkins lost out to Chicago Rose Maggie McEldowney, who was named the winner on Tuesday, beating out 65 other competitors.
McEldowney, a 27-year-old American of Derry descent also used her platform to raise awareness, this time for a change of perception around the Rose of Tralee.
“I would love to alter the image, just like the Roses before me have done,” McEldowney told RTÉ. “It’s so much more than glitz and glam."
But it was the Sydney Rose's comments that created a storm both on and offline.
Parkins used her platform to call for a repeal of the Eighth Amendment, the constitutional ban on abortion in Ireland dating from 1983.
On stage on Monday night, the 25-year old Australian said that she thought Ireland could “do better” to “give women a say on their own reproductive rights.”
RTÉ received 10 formal complaints about Parkins’ comments, but online the furore has continued.
A number of people on social media registered their "disgust" and "shame" that the contest had—in their view—been hijacked by outside politics...