MEP rows back from defence of GAA rally
FINE GAEL Munster MEP Seán Kelly has issued a clarification after he was criticised in Kerry for his defence of the leading role GAA figures and clubs played in a massive rally last weekend in support of businessman Seán Quinn and his family.
In an interview on Radio Kerry on Monday, Mr Kelly said the show of “moral support” for a local decent family who had been loyal to the GAA and who found themselves in difficulty was part of what the GAA was all about, especially when the national spotlight was on that family.
The same show of support would apply in Kerry were a local loyal GAA family there to find themselves in trouble, he said.
Mr Kelly said he was not commenting on any court proceedings, neither was it an official protest sanctioned by Croke Park “per se” but moral support “for our own”.
However football columnist and former Kerry selector, outgoing mayor of Killarney Seán Counihan, yesterday questioned why no “ordinary” local person in trouble in Kerry had seen that kind of support from Mr Kelly or the GAA.
“If Seán Quinn wasn’t a brother of Peter Quinn, former president of the GAA, would he have got that kind of support?” Mr Counihan, of Labour, asked.
A lot of very good GAA people had lost homes and businesses “and I didn’t see any of these people coming out to support them”, Mr Counihan said.
Mr Kelly issued statements yesterday stressing that he was not commenting on ongoing court proceedings. He also appeared to distance himself from the Quinns.
“The rally . . . was an expression of support by people for the Quinn family. It is up to individuals to support who they wish.”