Council uproar as ministers referred to as ‘muppets’

The description of a government minister as “a muppet” caused uproar at the December meeting of South Tipp County Council.

The description of a government minister as “a muppet” caused uproar at the December meeting of South Tipp County Council.

The description had to be formally withdrawn before the meeting could proceed with a debate on cuts to Home Help services.

Cllr Bobby Fitzgerald had described the cuts as horrendous and then went on to say “we have a muppet Minister of health and a puppet Tanaiste.”

The comment invoked immediate protest from Cllr Michael Fitzgerald who asked for the description to be withdrawn.

“I have never heard those types of remarks here about any minister. It brings democracy at local level to a new low,” he said.

Council chairman, John Crosse, refused to proceed with the meeting until the remarks were withdrawn by Cllr Bobby Fitzgerald, saying “it’s not nice.”

The minister “is democratically elected and a good medical doctor,” Cllr Michael Fitzgerald insisted.

Cllr Fitzgerald rephrased his comment to say the minister‘s actions defied logic but he was again asked to withdraw the remark.

He did so when it was proposed to adjourn the meeting.

The council had been discussing motions by Cllrs Richie Molloy and Louise McLoughlin in support of Home Helps and calling for Home Help hours to be reinstated.

Cllr Molloy said there was a great fear of further cuts and called on the minster to restore existing cuts in the new year.

Cllr Darren Ryan agreed that there are genuine concerns among people.

Cllr John Fahey appealed to the community spirit of people who have time on their hands to spend some time with elderly friends and neighbours, because it would mean so much to them.