A Fond Farewell To Tralee Town Council

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Mayor Pat Hussey and Deputy Mayor Mairead Fernane, at the last ever sitting of Tralee Town Council on Monday night. Photo by Dermot Crean

AND so it ends…

Members of Tralee Town Council came together for the last time on Monday evening and it proved to be an emotional occasion, filled with laughter and tinged with sadness.

Photographs were taken and many memories shared before and after the meeting, which was brief and dealt with the taking over of Knockmoyle estate by the Council as well as other matters which will be now be dealt with by the county authority after June 1.

Mayor Pat Hussey (FG) spoke of the honour it was to sit on the Council, especially as Mayor, in its last year.

He also paid tribute to management and fellow councillors and criticised Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan for not allowing a plebiscite to be held on retaining the Town Council.

Cllr Johnnie Wall (Ind) paid tribute to the Mayor and spoke of his pride in representing the people of Tralee since he was elected in 1985.

“This town is pride and my passion and it’s sad think the chamber which reverberated to the sounds of councillors debating will be no more,” he said, while also complimenting fellow councillors and management.

Cllr Terry O’Brien (Lab) told of his first days as public representative in 1999.

“I learned my trade in that dynamic council. We had a few fine shouting matches but we were all friends after. Over the years the town was always put first and all decisions were taken in its best interests,” he said.

“When I came in here five years ago, I was petrified,” said Cllr Gillian Wharton Slattery (Lab). “I didn’t know what to expect, but I was surprised how everybody blended so well,” she said, telling also of the huge honour it was to serve with fellow councillors.

Cllr Ted Fitzgerald (FF) mentioned the contribution of others down the years.

“It was an honour to work with so many  officials and councillors over the years who served the town so well. It’s very sad to see the Council go,” he said.

Cllr Dan Galvin (Lab) said it was “a steep learning curve” coming into the Council three years ago and he praised everybody for pulling together for the good of the town.

Cllr Norma Foley (FF) praised Pat Hussey for his contribution.

“He gave 110% to the job and delivered everything in a gentlemanly way. It’s a sad night presiding over the demise of the Town Council but the town has been served well by management and staff here and I commend the diverse contribution of the councillors down the years,” said Cllr Foley.

“I want to thank my fellow councillors for their camaraderie down the year,” said Cllr Grace O’Donnell (FG). “The management and staff of this building had total commitment to the town,” she said.

“You were a natural in the Mayor’s chair,” Cllr Pa Daly (SF) told Mayor Hussey, before continuing with a smile, “there’s always an invitation for you to join Sinn Fein.” Cllr Daly also praised the Council for “working for the common good of the town.”

Cllr Cathal Foley (SF) said that while it was a sad occasion, the town will go on.

“It’ll be here long after we’re gone. Some say the town is dying, but I think it’s thriving with great facilities,” he said. Cllr Foley also said the Council should be praised for putting roofs over the heads of a lot of Tralee people over the years.

“It was the proudest moment of my life,” said Cllr Mairead Fernane (FG) on being elected to the authority in 2009. “From observing people on the Council it was clear it was all about the town,” she said.

Cllr Sam Locke (Ind) thanked the Mayor for “portraying the town at its best”, and spoke of his first meeting five years ago.

“When you’re coming in alone and you’re not in any party, there is a fear factor. But that was gone after the first meeting. There was unity  here. It’s a  sad night and a bad night for local democracy,” he said.

At the end of the meeting, hands were shook and well wishes extended to those running for Kerry County Council, on a night that brought a close to 400 years of local government in the town.


The twelve councillors which served on the last ever Tralee Town Council. Front from left; Cllr Cathal Foley (SF), Cllr Ted Fitzgerald (FF), Cllr Pat Hussey (FG), Cllr Johnnie Wall (FF), Cllr Mairead Fernane (FG), Cllr Terry O’Brien (Lab). Back, from left; Cllr Sam Locke (Ind), Cllr Norma Foley (FF), Cllr Pa Daly (SF), Cllr Gillian Wharton Slattery (Lab), Cllr Grace O’Donnell (FG), Cllr Dan Galvin (Lab). Photo by Dermot Crean






One Comment

  1. Francis Foley says:

    People will rue the day that the dictators in FG with the blessing of Labour forced this anti democratic measure through!