Councillors unhappy that replies to motions not presented for KCC meeting

Kerry councillors raised concerns that answers to their motions were not going to be issued until after their monthly meeting ended.

Members of Kerry County Council gathered for their first full physical meeting since the beginning of COVID-19.

The meeting was held at the Kerry Sports Academy at IT Tralee to ensure social distancing could be observed; the meeting was scheduled for two hours in line with public health guidelines.

However, councillors became annoyed that the answers to their motions would not be available until after the meeting.

Cathaoirleach Cllr Niall Kelleher said the protocol for the meeting had been agreed in advance, all motions would be taken as read and there would be no debate.

Cllr Deirdre Ferris said the council had “forked out” a significant amount of money for the use of the Kerry Sports Academy and it was very unfair not to debate motions.

Cllr Jackie Healy-Rae questioned why they meeting couldn’t be adjourned after two hours for a break and return afterwards.

Cllr Brendan Cronin said it was nonsense that motions were taken as read and if they were doing this again the answers should be ready when councillors arrive to the meeting.

Kerry County Council Chief Executive, Moira Murrell, said the meeting was following public health guidelines and they don’t intend to go back to remote meetings.

She said the council will take it month by month and the next meeting will be different again, she said it was not ideal but it is a start and a half way house to get everyone in a room.

Councillors were then emailed the answers with limited time given for some debate.