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Town of Tralee

"Pictured above is Mayor Dennis Clough, Deputy Mayor of Tralee Cllr. Mairead Fernane and former Mayor of Tralee Cllr. Ted Fitzgerald"

Overseas Connection

In May of 2009, Tralee, Ireland became Westlake’s sister city through the Sister Cities International program. Sister Cities International is a nonprofit organization that helps to create partnerships in an effort to exchange information and ideas, while building friendships and understanding cultural differences.

Our Sister City program is made possible through the generous support of Westlake World Partners Co. To view the website for Westlake World Partners, click here.

Tralee is located in southwest Ireland on the northern side of the Dingle Peninsula. Tralee is the capital of Kerry County and is Ireland’s seventh largest town. The town has plenty to offer including excellent shopping, historic buildings, sporting facilities, plenty of green space, restaurants, hotels and much more. Visitor attractions include the Aqua Dome Waterworld, Siamsa Tíre - the National Folk Theatre of Ireland, Kerry County Museum, the historic Blennerville Windmill and the Tralee Ship Canal. Tralee is also home to the world famous Rose of Tralee International Festival held annually in August.


Demographic Overview:
Tralee Westlake
Population: 22,744 34,000
Size: 4.78 square miles 16 square miles
Industry: Service/Technology Service/Technology
Currency: Euro Dollar
Zoning: Commercial Residential

Municipalities Overview:
Tralee Westlake
Government: Council Mayoral
Tax: National/International Local
Service: City and Contracted City
Currency: Euro Dollar
Safety: National City
Planning: Council City

If you’d like to learn more about the town of Tralee, click here to access the town’s website.

Click here to locate the Town of Tralee in Ireland

Background of the International Rose of Tralee Festival:

In 1959, a group of local businessmen gathered in a pub in Tralee to figure out how to put their town "on the map." As the "county town" of County Kerry, Tralee had of course been literally on the map for centuries, but the enterprising citizens of Tralee were looking for a way to distinguish the town's Race Week Carnival and attract "ex-patriots" and out-of-town visitors to this annual event. The beautiful coastal town located at the base of the picturesque Slieve Mish Mountains also had something else going for it - "The Rose of Tralee," a popular and well-known 19th century ballad associated with the town. The song helped to crystallize the event that would eventually become known as The Rose of Tralee International Festival.

A highlight of Tralee's Race Week Carnival had traditionally been the crowning of a "Carnival Queen." Now, a young woman would be chosen as the "Rose of Tralee." Originally the competition was restricted to women from Tralee, but today it is open to women of Irish descent around the world. In 1967, the final Rose Selection was broadcast live on Irish television for the first time and well-known actors and entertainers have often served as emcees. One of Ireland's top ballad groups, the Wolfe Tones, gained international prominence for the first time when a Canadian television crew came to Tralee to film the festival and included footage of the group playing at The Tavern in Tralee.

According to local history, William Mulchinock, the son of a wealthy wool and linen draper in Tralee, fell in love with Mary O'Connor, a kitchen and later nursery maid in his parents' house. William was said to have written a poem to convince Mary to marry him in about 1843, but the difference between their social stations and the opposition of William's family, as well as William's involvement in rebel politics, prevented their union. Of course the story ended tragically with William pining for Mary for six years in India and arriving back in Tralee only to witness her funeral procession.

The song celebrates every aspect of Mary's beauty; "She was lovely and fair as the rose of the summer," claims one of the verses. It emphasizes her qualities and virtues as the verse continues, "Yet 'twas not her beauty alone that won me./ Oh no, 'twas the truth in her eyes ever dawning/ that made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee." In accordance with the song's emphasis on Mary's character and strength, the Rose Selection is not a beauty pageant but rather a way of recognizing a young woman of exceptional poise and accomplishment who can represent and be an ambassador of the Irish culture.

While northeast Ohio selected and submitted candidates to the International Festival in the 1970's, the impetus for reviving Ohio participation came from the twinning of the City of Westlake with Tralee in 2009. The 2nd Annual Northern Ohio Rose of Tralee selection process will take place on Friday, April 27, at LaCentre. For more details, click here.

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