Archives - November 1982 A UNION official has accused the Dean of Kerry, Monsgr. Diarmuid O'Sullivan, PP, Tralee, of going back on a commitment he gave to announce from the pulpit a petition which calls for the opening of the new general hospital in Tralee.
The petition, which has a target of 30,000 signatures, was taken up outside church doors in Tralee on Sunday.
Organised by the Tralee branch of the ITGWU the petition also slams health cutbacks. Already 5,000 signatures have been raised.
In November 1982 Tralee's Transport Union branch secretary, Mr. Andrew McCarthy, said he hoped that the change of heart on the Dean's part was not brought about by political interference. "He (the Dean) had read a script of what he intended to say to Mr. Kevin O'Connor and John Donnelly of our union," said Mr. McCarthy. He told them on Friday he would do it. We are very puzzled." Now Mr. McCarthy intends to raise the matter with the Bishop of Kerry, Dr. Kevin McNamara.
Dean O'Sullivan told The Kerryman that he had informed the petition's promoters why he had decided to withdraw his statement at Masses. "It was because representations were made by other interests," he said. "That made it plain to me that it was not a non-political thing as they are presenting it."
"I could not afford to allow the church to be used," added Dean O'Sullivan. He conceded, however, that he believed the hospital issue was a matter of public concern.
Dean O'Sullivan stated that the representations made to him "were not made as political, or on behalf of a political party." He said it would not have been in the interest of the community to make the announcement, he had intended to make, in church.