Page 23 - The Kerry News 2018
P. 23

Norma Moriarty, Mayor of South Kerry talks to Mairead Robinson
Norma Moriarty has roots in the South Kerry town that stretch back generations and while her busy lifestyle these days bring her far and wide, home is still very much Waterville. Her mother Noreen O’Sullivan, who passed away fifteen years ago, had a popular boutique in the town known as Nor’s Boutique, and her father had Moriarty’s Butchersshop. Priortothat,her grandparents ran a hardware and undertakersinthevillage. But it was actually out in Scarriff where Norma spent the first six years of her life, before the fam- ily bought her mother’s home place in the village, and they moved into Waterville itself. Speaking of those early years,
who attended Loreto Boarding School in Killarney along with her sister Mary Carmel, worked as a telephonist prior to opening the boutique.
Like all her siblings, Norma went to school in Waterville. She then went on to UCC to do her degree in English and Histo- ry and she taught for a while in Corkcity. Shethenmovedtoa school in Bantry before coming toKenmarewhereshehasbeen teaching since 2002 where she is alsoinvolved in Learning Support services.
Norma’s sister Sharon is a teacher, married to Mau- rice Fitzgerald and living in
Norma Moriarty, Mayor of South Kerry
Norma pictured with her brother-in-law Maurice Fitzgerald and her uncle-in-law Mick O’Dwyer on the campaign trail.
Caherciveen while Olive is a librarianinTraleeLibrary. Her brother Jamie was a professional flat jockey and now a racing manager with Coolmore based in Tipperary. While brother Eoin is a property developer and currently the owner of The Sea Lodge Hotel. It was sitting in this lovely bright contemporary hotel that Norma told me about what drives her and how she got involved in politics initially. “I was always involved and inter- ested in community activities, and when the opportunity came to stand for the Council in 2014 it was an opportunity to pursue what I was already interested in”, she explained.
She had previously been involved with the community efforts to get a proper water treatment system for Waterville, and after thirty years work
and at a cost of eighteen and a half million euro, it eventually openedin2013. Norma’sfirst experience of the community rallying together for a project
one of their sponsors. I have
a keen interest in rowing and Waterville have developed their own Sliders group and been in three all-Ireland regattas, so I am involved in supporting them on the sidelines”.
Norma remembers how Scarriff was a great place to grow up
as a young child with the great freedom of the countryside and horses and donkeys in the fields around them. When they moved to the village, they continued
A big project that is ‘coming down the tracks’ for 2019 is the Greenway for South Kerry which will stretch from Renard point to Glenbeigh. This is something that Norma is par- ticularly excited about as it has huge potential with twenty-six kilometres of a cycle way.
There has been a lot of work
St Stephen’s Day is traditionally a great day for walking, and Norma enjoys this as she says
it is the start of brighter days ahead and she looks forward
to have a happy childhood playing outside with the other children. Shehadtwosisters, and then two brothers – with a ten year gap between the girls and the boys. Waterville was
a busy tourist spot when she was growing up, with fishing and golf bringing in many tour buses. As her aunt and uncle, Micko Dwyers and Mary Carmel (her mother’s sister) owned the Strand Hotel – now The Sea Lodge – the children all cut their teeth working there during the summers growing up. And when they were not working in the hotel, they were helping out in the butchers.
“We would never dare complain we were bored”, she laughs, “aswewouldbesoongivena job”. The family had a strong work ethic and her mother,
to the spring time which is just around the corner straight after Christmas.
which involved the local GAA when, at the age of just fifteen a home advantage for a south Kerry league final was at risk in Waterville as the pitch and grounds was in disarray and the game was to be moved, a local committee got together and fixed up the pitch so that the game could go ahead in Waterville.
done to bring it to this stage, and a decision is due in March next year. Following that, it will take about three years to build, but if it is anything as successful as the one in Mulranny, it will certainly be a huge asset to tourism in
“I have also always been inter- ested in sports although I am not particularly athletic.
I am also a great fan of Tralee Warriors, and my brother is
the area.
So what does this busy public representative do to relax, I asked her? “I am constantly on the road, but I do love reading,
I have a great love of books”. And she plans to spend Christ- mas with her father Seamus at home in
Waterville. While most of her family and friends will be drop- ping in, it is a long way from the hectic days of the butchers in the village when they had to make sure they had all the turkeys ordered at the right weight, and all were ready to be collected on Christmas Eve!
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Sharon Moriarty (Fitzgerald), Noreen, Olive, Seamus, Eoin, Norma, & Fr. Nolan with the bishop
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Christmas Greetings & A Safe New Year
Christmas Greetings & A Safe New Year

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