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Thursday 22 March 2018

'O' brother -- political dynasty takes charge

Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

THEY are brothers but they have different surnames -- for political reasons.

The O'Grady/Grady brothers have now been elected to the highest office of their local town council.

The pair have a combined service of 42 years on Killarney Town Council and both have served as chairman.

However, this is the first time that Sean O'Grady and his brother Donal Grady will serve as mayor and deputy mayor at the same time.

As far as the brothers are aware, it is a first -- although there have been incidences where members of the same family served on councils simultaneously.

The new mayor, Labour councillor Sean O'Grady (67), has been on the town council for the past 39 years and was chairman on four previous occasions.

Mr O'Grady was first elected as a councillor for Sinn Fein/Workers' Party and had a short spell as an Independent, before joining the ranks of Labour about 10 years ago.

His younger brother, Donal Grady (65) has been an Independent councillor since he was first elected in 1999.

Mr Grady said he dropped the 'O' in his surname to differentiate himself from his brother. Of course, this also moved his name further up the ballot paper. But outside of council matters, he still uses his original surname.

Mr O'Grady said he'll use his term as mayor to promote tourism in the town.

"I have no difficulty in working with my brother or anyone else," Mr O'Grady said. "As a council we're fairly united anyway."

Mr Grady said even though they have different political philosophies, outside of council business the brothers are close, adding that they regularly attend matches together.

"We share the same aim, which is to make Killarney a better place," he said.

Irish Independent

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