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Mayor of Limerick not longer invited to open Polish festival

category limerick | worker & community struggles and protests | news report author Wednesday November 18, 2009 12:28author by Tom Report this post to the editors

Fall out from Mayor of Limerick deportation controversy

THE Polish community in Limerick has withdrawn an invitation to the Mayor of Limerick, Kevin Kiely to officially open a Polish festival in the city this week, following his controversial remarks in relation to deporting unemployed foreign nationals.

Limerick Mayor not invited to Polish festival

Published Date: 17 November 2009

By Anne Sheridan

THE Polish community in Limerick has withdrawn an invitation to the Mayor of Limerick, Kevin Kiely to officially open a Polish festival in the city this week, following his controversial remarks in relation to deporting unemployed foreign nationals.
A petition is now being circulated amongst the Polish community in Limerick to voice their concern over comments made by the Fine Gael Mayor, Kevin Kiely.

Justyna Cwojdzinska, a member of the Irish Polish Cultural & Business Association in

k and former chairperson, said: "We wanted to have the Mayor opening the festival but felt it would be inappropriate after his remarks. We had the invitation ready to go to him, but have now withdrawn it."

A representative from the Polish Consulate in Dublin will now open the arts festival instead. Ms Cwojdzinska said the Polish community were "disappointed" and "deeply offended" by the Mayor's suggestion that foreign nationals who have been unemployed for a period of three months should be sent home, in a bid to reduce the Government's expenditure on social welfare payments.

"We felt as if his remarks were directed directly at us. I don't know if the Mayor knows the meaning of the word deported and what it implies, but it implies that we are doing something illegal," said Ms Cwojdzinska.

Over 50 signatures have been collected to date among the thousands-strong Polish community in the Mid-West. The petition will be sent to City Hall in the coming weeks, and the Association say they hope a stronger retraction and apology will be issued as a result.

Mayor Kiely said he did not wish to comment any further on the matter when contacted by the Limerick Chronicle.

Following a meeting with Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny this Monday it emerged that the matter would not be taken any further. Mr Kenny said the Mayor "has been big enough and strong enough to withdraw this unreservedly and there the matter ends".

From this Thursday, a Polish festival, encompassing paintings, sculptures, graphics and photography, will run in the Georgian House & Garden, No 2 Pery Square. It will open with a concert by Polish artists at 6.30pm. On Saturday, there will be events for children including a painting workshop as well as a theatrical and craft workshop.

All events are free of charge.

Related Link: http://www.limerickleader.ie/news/Limerick-Mayor-not-invited-to.5831463.jp

 #   Title   Author   Date 
   Deport Kiely     shaneo    Wed Nov 18, 2009 21:46 
   Kiely should be removed     Bernard    Fri Dec 18, 2009 06:54 


 
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