12 of the most iconic Rose of Tralee moments, from fish kisses to banana dances

By Lovin' Media

August 17, 2023 at 10:18am


No need to be lonely tonight, it's the Rose of Tralee.

One of the biggest nights of the year for homesick emigrants, Dáithí-worshipping households and Irish Twitter community en masse is almost upon us.

The Rose of Tralee makes its triumphant return to our telly boxes this weekend, and what we can expect as the various Roses take their 'turn' is anyone's guess. Dáithí embroiled in a light sabre battle? One Rose ratting another out on live television for fancying her brother? A revival of *that* hip hop dance from 2011? It's all to play for at the Dome, and that's the beauty of the festival.

This microcosm of Irish-ness has provided us with countless gems over the years, and we've taken it upon ourselves to round up some of the best. Be sure to let us know if we missed out your favourite Rose of Tralee moment, so we can all reminisce together.

12. The Banana Song

The bananas of the world united back in 2011 thanks to the Sunderland Rose Niamh O'Connell, who claimed she didn't have a talent but arguably possessed one of the greatest talents of all - The Banana Dance.

11. Party rockin' with Dublin's hip hop Rose

In the same year, we had Dublin Rose, Siobheal Nic Eochaidh, wow us with her self-taught hip hop dance. Her enthusiasm and commitment to the routine, while admirable, left the country bemused, perplexed and a little stunned.


10. The prop-rose-al

2013 saw New Orleans Rose Molloy Gambel on stage with her boyfriend Kyle, and even though Dáithí was wildly unsubtle with his exit off stage, she was totally surprised and utterly shocked when he got down on one knee and popped the question.

So much so that she said 'no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no', until she finally said yes.

9. The brush and barrel dance

While the proposal is one for the history books, it couldn't possibly overshadow this TDA-worthy routine from Letirim Rose Edwina Guckian. From the barrel, to the broom, to the life-sized cutout of Edwina bopping along to the beat from the audience, everything about this is perfection.

8. Dáithí's line dancing lesson

Back in 2012, Texas Rose Kelly Gaetano taught Dáithí a little bit of line dancing to the tune of 'Cotton Eyed Joe' and the whole country lost its life for a brief moment.

Our personal highlight is the line-dancing flashmob that erupts in the aisles.


7. Dáithí gets a bedtime story

In 2014, Darwin Rose Natalie Kelly took Dáithí "back to his childhood for a small time" with a single bed, reading glasses and lullaby background tuneage. While Dáithí cuddled into his pillow, Natalie regaled with a story of the jingle jangle jungle, a cranky bear and the four friends who welcomed him into the fold.

6. The Philadelphia Rose "chipmunk trumpeting" with Shane Filan

In 2013, Philadelphia Rose Brittany Killion opted for a talent usually reserved for long bus journeys on secondary school tours - as she said at the time, there's not really a name for it - we'd describe it as blowing through your fist 'til a musical fart noise comes out. A talent for the ages, truly.

5. The high heel strut

This is just a Dáithí appreciation post at this stage.

In 2012 the bilingual host took the stage in a pair of red heels he claimed he borrowed from Anne Doyle and strutted back and forth while repeatedly exclaiming "this is very, very easy".

4. This shady move by the Monaghan Rose


Irish Twitter exploded back in 2015 when Monaghan Rose Michelle Caulfield announced to the entire Dome (and the crowd watching at home) that the Louth Rose Jenny Hanlon fancied her brother. It's not called the Best Friends of Tralee, after all.

3. Fish Kiss

No doubt about it, all the Roses have all been lovely girls, but in Dáithí's eyes, no one was lovelier than this substantially-sized cod he smooched back in 2013 as part of the Newfoundland and Labrador Rose Erica Halfyard's turn.

2. The Light Sabre Duel

In a galaxy far far away (the Dome), Dáithí and Florida Rose Jennifer Waldeck engaged in a battle to the death - or rather, a battle til the lights came up signifying her go was over.

1. The 2012 Dolphin Cry

Even more poignant since Fungie has sadly departed. Who could forget this moment in 2012, where Kilkenny Rose Aoibhín Murphy impersonated a dolphin and outed her dad as a cheater in one fell swoop. You truly love to see it.


All that's left to do now is sit back and tune in for whatever magic this year has in store.


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