Friday 24 November 2017

Cute hoors of Kerry hold more cards than Kenny as bluff called

By david looby

David Looby
David Looby
The victorious Healy-Rae brothers, Danny and Michael.

THE 'culchies' are on the march and there's nothing that can stop them now.

There have been ructions in Kerry with the Healy-Rae's stoking the flames in rural parts of the Kingdom decrying an anti-culchie bias on social media.

The drama was played out on the front page of our sister paper The Kerryman last week with vicious tweets printed about the be-capped Independent brothers from Kilgarvan. The townie versus culchie tete-a-tete has never ranked that highly in terms of major warring societal animosities. The Bloods and the Crip gangs and the Mods and the Rockers were far more antagonistic foes.

That is not to demean the anti-Kerry rhetoric that spewed forth on Twitter after Michael and Danny Healy-Rae were elected. The brothers revealed on the Late Late Show that Enda Kenny had asked to meet with them about the make-up of the next government.

Having taken a lashing in the election, the Mayo man was clearly returning to the well, so to speak, by speaking to the offspring of the late Jackie Healy-Rae, who was a kingmaker to the previous Fianna Fáil government. Healy-Rae Snr was lampooned more than any other modern politician for his thick Kerry accent and persuasive manner, but he managed to get around €100m for his native county from Bertie Ahern, when the big boys came calling.

Now his sons are in the mix for the new government - whatever shape it takes - and Kerry people should be feeling very happy about who they have at the negotiating table.

It may have been merely a coincidence, but in recent days the Municipal District of Tralee revealed proposals to apply for city status for Tralee.

Tralee mayor Thomas McEllistrim said city status for Tralee was one of his priorities when elected to the role.

A formal motion seeking city designation was put before the Municipal District of Tralee meeting on Monday. There is strong local support for the idea, with the Fianna Fáil mayor arguing that Kilkenny already enjoys city status.

'On population grounds alone, why shouldn't Tralee be designated a city?' he asked.

Kilkenny has a population of around 23,000, while Tralee is home to 22,000 people.

The move for city status for Tralee would require legislation. Local Government Legislative Acts set out which are city councils and which are county councils.

'It would make a big difference to Tralee from a tourism point of view. People tend to go to cities.'

Education would also benefit with university status especially more likely if Tralee were a city, and it would be entitled to additional funding under the Living City and other initiatives.

The Healy-Raes may yet get a city for the Kingdom.

Michael Healy-Rae said the gist of his and Danny's conversation with the Taoiseach was that something had to be done to ensure stability in government,

'They're all elected now, they all have their own mandate; they should be coming together - talking, discussing things and trying to iron out things and forming a government,' he said, as if echoing what Kenny would say if he was on the same show.

They want a senior Minister of Rural Affairs. Universities in every county could also be on the cards.

It's time for a la carte wish-list menus and Twitter won't be happy!

Wexford People

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