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GardaÍ launch investigation into alleged racial abuse of Rose of Tralee winner Kirsten Mate Maher

The incident happened in a takeaway during the early hours of Sunday morning

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Gardaí in Kilkenny have launched an investigation, after Rose of Tralee winner Kirsten Mate Maher was allegedly racially abused at a takeaway over the weekend.

The Waterford Rose, who is of mixed race, and her boyfriend were at a takeaway on John Street in Kilkenny at around 3am on Sunday morning when the alleged incident took place.

According to reports, Kirsten was subject to racial abuse by two males, before Gardaí were called to the scene.

TheJournal.ie has reported that statements were taken from all those present, and inquiries are ongoing.

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“Gardaí in Kilkenny are aware of an alleged incident that occurred in a fast food restaurant on John Street, Kilkenny on Sunday 26 August 2018 at approximately 3am,” a Garda spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Rose of Tralee festival said, “Regrettably, Kirsten has been subjected to racial abuse from people in the past and it is something that she and many others in Ireland have to deal with on a regular basis.”

The news comes just days after Kirsten was crowned the 2018 Rose of Tralee, making her the first ever African woman to claim the title.