Kerry councillors ‘should not hijack homecoming’

Tom and Sarah Brett from Tralee embrace their divided loyalties in Blennerville National School, Tralee. Picture: Domnick Walsh

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.

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 said that the “adulation”, “praise”, and “commendation” should be the reserve of the returning team, their mentors, and management, and not for elected representatives who insist on sharing the limelight.

However, Ms Foley said she was surprised and disappointed that her suggestion did not 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 championship final on Sunday, while the Kerry minors take on Tipperary.

Kerry councillors ‘should not hijack homecoming’

Ms Foley said the only public representative that should be on the podium was the mayor of the county and the chairs of each municipal district, in an official capacity, to welcome home the teams.

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, whereby there were 33 elected representatives on Kerry County Council there also was not enough room for them on the stage.

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

“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,” added Ms Foley.

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