An investigation is under way into an alleged racist verbal attack on the newly crowned Rose of Tralee, Kirsten Mate Maher.

It comes after gardaí were called to a fast food outlet in Kilkenny city in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Ms Maher and her boyfriend were allegedly abused by two male customers in the takeaway on John Street at around 3am.

It is understood Ms Maher, who was last week crowned the Rose of Tralee, had been out socialising with her boyfriend and other friends earlier in the night and had stopped at the fast food premises on their way home.

One man is alleged to have racially abused her before her boyfriend intervened by asking him to stop.

The second man then became involved and gardaí were called. 

It is understood gardaí took statements from everyone present but it is not yet known if a prosecution will follow.

Steve Cronly of the Rose of Tralee festival committee said they were aware an incident had been reported to the gardaí and he said Ms Maher would not be making any comment.

He said that regrettably Ms Maher had been subjected to racist abuse from people in the past and that it was something she and many others in this country have to deal with on a regular basis.

Mr Cronly added that as Rose of Tralee, Ms Maher intends to highlight the fact that society here is becoming more diverse and that there is no place for racism.