Adverse weather forces the Rose of Tralee to move out of the Festival Dome.

The Festival Dome in Tralee is the traditional home for the Rose of Tralee contest. However, it is empty tonight after bad weather forced the event to move to an alternative venue at the Mount Brandon Hotel.

RTÉ management and the Rose of Tralee festival committee made the difficult decision to move venues following the cancellation of last night's second round of the contest. After an inspection of the Festival Dome , the decision was made to move to the smaller venue of the Mount Brandon Hotel.

Colm Molloy, Director of Sales and Marketing at RTÉ, says that the decision to move to a different venue was based on public safety. During rehearsals yesterday it was almost impossible to hear the contestants when they were answering Marty Whelan's questions.

The old tent was rattling. It was a cause of concern. The weather forecast abysmal.

The Festival Dome had a seating capacity of two thousand. However, tonight's venue will hold only seven hundred.

Festival president Seamus O'Halloran says that parents of the contestants, many of whom have travelled thousands of miles to be there, will get priority in terms of seating at the new venue.

While some of the contestants are disappointed by the postponement and the new venue, they are still looking forward to having their moment in the limelight.

The festival committee are hopeful that a new two thousand seater venue will be in place for next year.

The change of venue for the event meant the 30 strong RTÉ outside broadcast crew had to work all day to prepare the new venue for the remaining 15 roses.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 28 August 1997. The reporter is Deirdre McCarthy.