The Rose of Tralee: I’m going to rent out High Horses

Dublin Rose Laura Vines with her dog Penney

I’m going to go into business.

Yes, I am well aware that I flunked miserably at Commerce, unable to get past first year in UCD.

But I have an idea which can’t fail. It’s up there with Netflix, the iPhone and, I don’t think I’m overstating this, the wheel.

High horses.

I’m going to talk to someone like Aidan O’Brien to see if we can develop a breed of horses sufficiently high for people to get up on them when they want to lecture the rest of us.

Right now, I could sell or rent thousands of high horses.

Because it’s Rose of Tralee time.

Every year, thirty or more girls from all over Ireland and, indeed, the world come to Tralee for a bit of craic. That’s what it is. No more, no less. Fun.

They enjoy it, the town loves it, the public loves it and of course the television audience loves it.

It provides a welcome boost for the area just as the tourist season comes to an end and to be perfectly honest, I can’t see how it does anyone any harm.

Kilkenny rose and hockey international Clodagh Cassin with Daithí

And yet…

…every year people get up on those high horses (which I hope soon to be in a position to sell or rent to them) and say it’s “demeaning” or “insulting” or “degrading” and, with a complete lack of originality, compare it to Father Ted’s “Lovely Girls.”

If that’s the case, isn’t it extraordinary how many stupid lawyers and accountants and psychologists and teachers we have out there?

Because that’s who enters. And they enter because (see above) it’s a bit of fun.

And, apart from getting a holiday in Ireland out of it, one of the girls gets a pretty good prize too.

We get to laugh or applaud as they show us their various talents and, invariably, take the piss out of Daithí who willingly plays the stooge.

Having been present at the Festival for about ten years in a row I can attest to the fact that it’s fun, it’s craic, it’s pints, it’s music, it’s entertainment, it’s hangovers, it’s scenery, it’s friends.

Sure, I was in the privileged position of being a journalist “covering” the event. 

But that came after the first festival I attended which was spent singing in a bar – and later at night on the street – to earn a crust.

I can’t remember the Gardai ever having much bother. I don’t think there are too many rows or punch ups if any. 

Just people having a bit of fun – and it’s those girls who put themselves forward to entertain us, who make it all happen.

So, this time next year, if you want a high horse, I’ll be your man.

And they’ll be available to rent when Dancing With The Stars comes back, when the Late Late Toy Show and Valentine’s Day Specials are on, when Daniel and Majella hit the road again and when Brendan O’Carroll’s Christmas Show is on.

And where will they all gallop off to on their high horses?

The moral high ground of course.

And I might buy that too. 

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