Visit of Tutu to Ballina raises temperatures in Ballina chamber

The upcoming visit of Bishop Desmond Tutu to Ballina did not meet with the unanimous approval most would have expected at Wednesday night’s meeting of Ballina Town Council.

Bishop Tutu’s visit, alongside former president Mary Robinson, is to endorse the proposed new Mary Robinson centre in the town. Fine Gael councillor Barry McLoughlin raised the topic and asked what type of protocol the council would be putting in place, and said it was very important to welcome him.

However Independent councillor Gerry Ginty did not see eye to eye with Cllr McLoughlin, and told the meeting Bishop Tutu and others had let their own country down, saying it was worse for safety now than it was in the past. He went on to say: “It would serve Tutu better to do something for his own people, the only thing that has changed is that a small cartel of black men have taken over.”

Councillors Mark Winters and Barry McLoughlin hit out at Cllr Ginty saying that he was out of order, before Méara Willie Nolan moved the meeting on.

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