Friday 28 October 2016

Councillors bicker over Kerry teams' homecoming event

Published 16/09/2015 | 02:30

Norma Foley
Norma Foley

A row has erupted among Kerry county councillors over how they should officially welcome home the county's football teams on Monday following the All-Ireland finals.

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Fianna Fáil's Norma Foley ruffled the feathers of some of her colleagues by suggesting they had "no place on the stage" at the homecoming of the county's senior and minor football teams.

Ms Foley says the "adulation", "praise" and "commendation" should be the reserve of the returning teams, their mentors and management, and not for elected representatives who insist on sharing the limelight.

But Ms Foley said she was surprised and disappointed her suggestion didn't win the universal support of her colleagues, some of whom were "aghast" at it.

Kerry face old rivals Dublin in the much anticipated All-Ireland senior football final on Sunday, while the Kerry minors take on Tipperary.

Both teams are hoping to make it two in a row but will be given an official welcome home on Monday regardless of the outcome.

Ms Foley said the only public representative who should be on the podium was the mayor of the county and the chairs of each municipal district.

She told Radio Kerry: "I made the suggestion in good faith but I did not get the universal support I had hoped for.

"Some councillors were aghast and took serious umbrage to what I thought was a suggestion as regards proper protocol and procedure on the night. The line that many of them took was that they would be up on stage with them on the night."

Ms Foley said that, under the new regime, where there were 33 elected representatives on Kerry County Council, there wasn't enough room for them on the stage.

She said the appropriate way for councillors, other than the mayor, to participate in the event was to be part of the crowd.

"There's no place for public representatives on the stage other than the mayor, who is elected as a figurehead and to represent the rest of us," she added.

"The public are coming out, win or lose, to pay homage to the teams, their mentors and management and that's it as far as the general public is concerned.

"I think the limelight should rest fairly and squarely on the Kerry teams and their mentors and managers on the night and not on anyone else."

Irish Independent

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