« BackCouncillor says he can’t back Maura Healy-Rae as new Killarney Cathaoirleach

A Fianna Fáil politician says he couldn’t support the county councillor who’d been expected to be the next Cathaoirleach of Killarney.


Cllr John Joe Culloty says he could not give his backing to Cllr Maura Healy-Rae.

Her father, TD Danny Healy-Rae, had been due to become Cathaoirleach for the Killarney Municipal District following discussions with Fianna Fáil.

Maura took his Kerry County Council seat after he was elected to the Dáil in February.

A Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael pact is the main factor in determining who’re the county Mayors as well as Cathaoirligh of the municipal districts over the current council’s five year term.

On Monday, the new Mayor and Cathaoirligh for the year will be chosen.

Killarney area Cllr Niall Kelleher, who’s Fianna Fáil secretary on Kerry County Council, says in the Killarney Municipal District, his party had reached a deal with then Cllr Danny Healy-Rae which would have seen him become Cathoirleach. Fine Gael would also have supported this.

But Cllr Kelleher says after Maura Healy-Rae took her father’s council seat, she didn’t contact Fianna Fáil about this. Niall Kelleher says the deal had been made with Danny Healy-Rae, an independent politician, not with a party and Maura Healy-Rae should have spoken to them.

He says Fianna Fáil will have to decide who to support.

Maura Healy-Rae says she asked another Fianna Fáil councillor in Killarney, John Joe Culloty, if he’d honour the pact his party had made with her father.

Cllr Culloty says he was not contacted by her.

He’s told Radio Kerry he can’t support her because of what he says is her attempts at political point scoring in a row over a new graveyard for Killarney – a charge denied by Cllr Healy-Rae.

Cllr Healy-Rae says Fianna Fáil should support her as Cathaoirleach given their pact with her father.

Outgoing Killarney Cathaoirleach, Fine Gael’s Bobby O’Connell says if Maura Healy-Rae is nominated by Fianna Fail he’d be happy to vote for her while his party colleague in Killarney, John Sheahan, wasn’t available for comment.