Tutu visit ‘makes my blood boil’ - councillor
The forthcoming visit of Nobel prize-winning Archbishop Desmond Tutu to Ballina produced heated exchanges at a Ballina Town Council meeting last week.
Councillor Barry McLoughlin asked the Council what protocol would be followed for the Archbishop’s welcome on May 11, when he visits with former president Mary Robinson to support the proposed Mary Robinson Centre in the town.
Independent Councillor Gerry Ginty said talk of the visit ‘makes my blood boil’, and that he disagreed with Archbishop Tutu and Nelson Mandela, currently in hospital for pneumonia, being portrayed as ‘paragons of virtue’. Cllr Ginty continued by saying South Africa had one of the worst crime rates in the world and had ‘no safety for women’.
“The only difference now is a small number of black men have the power. Tutu should go home and do something better for his own people,” said Ginty.
In retaliation of the Councillor’s comments, both Cllr Barry McLoughlin and Cllr Mark Winters told the Cllr Ginty that his remarks were out of order.
“He’s the Archbishop of the church. He’s not responsible for the state of the country,” replied Cllr Winters.