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Sinead Flanagan Rose of Tralee 2019 appeals for support for the HOPE Christmas appeal 

Sinead Flanagan 2019 International Rose of Tralee in Kolkata India

Sinead Flanagan Rose of Tralee 2019 appeals for support for the HOPE Christmas appeal 

Sinead Flanagan International Rose of Tralee 2019 is taking to her role as Rose of Tralee with all the compassion and humanity one expects from the winner of the title.

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2019 International Rose of Tralee in Kolkata India

In November, like her Rose predecessors, Sinead took her first overseas trip to Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) to visit HOPE’s projects with street and slum children. There she witnessed the shocking conditions endured by Kolkata’s most vulnerable children, those who live in the slums, dumps, and streets of India’s second-most populous city.

Speaking about the most difficult experience of her trip to Kolkata, Sinead says that accompanying the night ambulance was upsetting and it struck her that all that is different between us is where we were born and appealed to people to remember the forgotten street children of Kolkata this Christmas.

“During my week in Kolkata, I have seen how HOPE is giving vulnerable children an opportunity, through education and protection, to lift themselves out of the poverty that they were born into. It is a great privilege to get to witness this incredible work first-hand and to meet the other volunteers from Specsavers and The Law Society of Ireland.”

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2019 International Rose of Tralee Sinead Flanagan pictured in Kolkata with actor Jeremy Irons

HOPE Honorary Director, Maureen Forrest, thanked The International Rose of Tralee Festival for their ongoing support and stated: “We are delighted and grateful to have such wonderful people here in Kolkata supporting our work around the 20th Annual Foundation Day. I am humbled by the support we have received from the Irish public in the past 20 years. These are the forgotten children, born into a world of dire poverty. As people like Sinead give just a little of their time, skills, knowledge, wisdom, compassion, wealth and love, the world becomes a better place.” 

Over the coming weeks, HOPE will be encouraging people to buy a Gift of HOPE, download or purchase their new album called ‘Friends of HOPE’ or donate to help continue the work in Kolkata for Christmas, Click here. For as little as a €5 donation a week you can sponsor a child’s education and make a huge difference.

About The Hope Foundation

HOPE is an Irish charity supporting overseas development and tackling humanitarian issues in Kolkata, India. It is estimated that up to 250,000 children are forced to exist on the streets and in the slums of Kolkata (Calcutta). The Hope Foundation (HOPE) was established in Ireland by Irish humanitarian Maureen Forrest in 1999 to help these children.

Eighteen years on HOPE now provide support to over 60 projects including education, primary healthcare, child protection, children’s shelters, vocational training, and drug rehabilitation. With offices in Cork, Dublin, UK, New York, and India, HOPE also works with local Indian NGOs to rescue thousands of children from the streets and slums of Kolkata. 

The Hope Foundation is a registered Irish charity (CHY 13237) and is governed by the Dóchas Code of Corporate Governance. The HOPE Honorary Director, Maureen Forrest, does not take a salary.

For more information on HOPE, Click here.

For more stories on Sinead Flanagan, Click here.


Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.