Over at County Hall in Kilkenny on Monday for the presidential nominations Mayor Peter Chap Cleere told the editor of the Kilkenny Journal that he opposes the location for the proposed mosque for Kilkenny.
He also denounced a rumour he was told that the Rose of Tralee had been “racially abused” in the city. ” Sue Nunn told me it happened over the phone and led me to denounce something that I now know never happened”, he honestly declared. “I’m glad that never happened in my city where we are renowned for our fair-minded approach to visitors of all nationalities from all over the world” , the Mayor proudly declared.
Other reactions from councillors to the site for the mosque weren’t so good:
Some councillors in Kilkenny like Cllrs. Noonan (Green Party) and ex-maor Cuddihy are happy to see the planned development of a Mosque in the city go ahead.
Former Mayor of Kilkenny and Fine Gael Cllr Patrick O’Neill said he “knew very little about the development plan” before he read the application but that he’s “interested to see what comes out of it”.
Patrick O’Neill got to know the Muslim community in Kilkenny very well during his time as Mayor of Kilkenny in 2016 and 2017.
However, he questioned whether “the proposed site is the right site for the development or not”.
Heckling and shouting dominated a meeting about the proposed development last April.
That meeting was organised by Fianna Fáil’s John McGuinness and his son Cllr. Andrew McGuinness to give people information on the proposed development of a mosque, residential accommodation, a community hall, cafe, library, and a Halal butchering shop in Kilkenny. Neither McGuinness will commit one way or the other since.
The meeting did not go to plan as heated arguments broke out between people on opposing sides of the development.
Sinn Féin Cllr David Kennedy agreed with Mayor O’Neill and said that he has “no problem with the Muslim community building their own mosque in Kilkenny once it goes through the proper planning procedures”. Kennedy never admitted that he is related by marriage to a local Muslim family.
The conversation about the proposed development exploded on The Kilkenny Journal first in a massive exclusive last year.
Pat O’Neill was surprised by this and said “debates on both sides got heated” especially as “not all the facts are being put out on the table to a certain extent”.
Talk about a politician hedging his bets!