TRIBUTES flowed freely this week for retiring south Kerry councillor Breda Moynihan Cronin, who was attending her final council meeting on Monday.
The Labour councillor and former TD announced her retirement from political life earlier this year and on Monday she said her final farewell, but not before some heartfelt tributes from her colleagues
Cllr Bobby O'Connell described her as a great colleague and a great friend and said that the council chamber will be all the worse for her departure, while her Labour colleague Gillian Wharton Slattery said that in the short time they had worked together on the council she was never found wanting in terms of support and advice. Cllr Pat Leahy said described his Labour colleague as a very able councillor and wished her a happy and healthy retirement, while Cllr Danny Healy Rae thanked the retiring councillor for the massive contribution she made to public life in Kerry.
Cllr Jim Finucane said that her decision to retire came as a massive surprise and that her departure will be a huge loss for the council, while Cllr John Brassil described his colleague as an outstanding politician who knew exactly how much he respected her.
Cllr Norma Foley, meanwhile, said that the south Kerry councillor will be sorely missed from the chamber, not only for her depth of knowledge and experience which she shared liberally, but for the efficient, capable and articulate way she went about her business.
All councillors present wished their colleague well, as did county manager Tom Curran who thanked her for always treating the staff and management with the utmost courtesy. She was a pleasure to work with, he said, and joked that she would now have more time to focus on entering the annual spud growing competition in West Kerry.
Clearly touched by all the kind words, an emotional Cllr Moynihan Cronin said that although it was the end of an era for her family, she thoroughly enjoyed her public life and aid it was a privilege to be elected to represent the people of south Kerry.
After wishing all her colleagues the very best in what she described as difficult times, she said she will now have more time to enter the 'spud competition' to which the county manager had earlier referred.