The world-famous Rose of Tralee festival has been canceled for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Rose of Tralee International Festival was due to take place in August this year but was canceled for the second time in 12 months on Monday afternoon.
Festival CEO Anthony O'Gara confirmed the news in a statement on Monday and said that organizers are confident that they have made the right decision as Ireland continues its recovery from the pandemic.
O'Gara said that organizers had been working on how to safely deliver the 2021 Rose of Tralee since last year's event was canceled but said that the timeframe envisaged to "steer our communities" out of the pandemic made it impossible for this year's festival to go ahead.
He said that the decision was "immensely disappointing" for everyone involved and said his team is looking forward to next year's event.
"Last year was the first time in our history that the Festival was postponed, and doing so again is difficult for everyone involved and of course for those supporters that look forward to celebrating our global Irish community each August, but we are confident it is the right decision as we all play our part right now in keeping each other safe and well," O'Gara said.
"The Rose of Tralee International Festival operates on a yearlong basis, in Irish communities worldwide; and we will continue to harness the goodwill of our extended Rose Family in supporting communities and charitable efforts over the next 12 months.
"Similarly, we will each have a role to play in restoring our community and local economy following this pandemic, and we look forward to coming together in celebration in August 2022."