Kerry County Council has paid tribute to journalist Donal Hickey, who retires from the Irish Examiner next month. The Gneeveguilla native has been covering meetings of the local authorityl for 44 years and was hailed as very fair and balanced in his reporting. Chief executive of Kerry County Council Moira Murrell said ‘fair’ was a very good word to use when describing Donal, whom she said was always very ‘even handed’ in his reporting. Representatives of each party and Independents then paid tribute to him, wishing him well in his retirement. Mr Hickey, who covered his first council meeting for the Kerryman in 1971, said it had been a great experience observing and covering the affairs of the council. He said being fair and honest had always been his aim and he hoped he had achieved this.