I NEVER pen a tribute to anyone unless I know him or her.
It is all too easy to have a soft pencil when the situation suits.
On that score I will remember former TD and Freeman of our city, Kieran Crotty not merely as a politician but as a kind and amiable gentleman who was pleasing to communicate with and was utterly helpful.
I didn’t know Kieran the TD and Master Baker very well so I will leave the kudos of his obviously laudable political achievements to those who would know best.
As a journalist I came in contact with Kieran mainly through sport and his love of his native city.
My fondest memory is of an insightful chat with him on a delightful evening in Kilkenny Castle in 2015 when he was declared a Freeman of Kilkenny City.
LOVE OF OUR GREAT CITY
Despite being the focus of attention on a super occasion for the greater Crotty family, he found as much time as I wanted for an interview.
A formal téte é téte quickly eased into a friendly and very informal chat during which he very sparingly used the pronouns ‘I’ or ‘me’ but preferred to wax lyrically about ‘this great city of ours and its possibilities for the future’.
I cannot remember why Kieran was feted by his fellows but I do recall that his honour was warmly welcomed and given the seal of approval.
I remember somebody asking the question as to whether Kieran, as a Freeman was entitled to graze his sheep on public pastures, provided of course he had sheep.
Attempts were made at the whys and wherefores of such a privilege but we were as wise after the event as we were when the question was posed.
CARING HUMAN BEING
As a journalist I would have been happy to nominate Kieran as a Freeman for his high standards as a caring human being, a mannerly gentleman with respect for others.
Very close to his heart were the people of St Canice’s Parish. He took a particular interest in the Soccer Streets’ League at The Waterbarracks, putting aside his own sporting preferences of hurling and rugby to row in with the wishes of hundreds of young and young at heart who preferred to head and kick a ball.
In that respect he was before his time. Modern day politicians could take note.
Their priority should be to give us what we want not what they want or don’t want to give us.
A leaf out of the copybook of Kieran C, a Fine Gael democrat would be apt.
Kieran’s son Pat is a chip off the old block. Like his dad, he is a former Mayor of Kilkenny and runs his Paris Texas business with a mix of hard work, good PR and professionalism.
But he still finds time to chat with contrary pensioners like Tommy Roche and myself.
Just like his father did on the night of his Freeman celebration.
Remains will repose at Mr Crotty’s home, The Weir, Castlecomer Road, Kilkenny from 2pm on Sunday with vigil prayers at 6pm.
Requiem Mass on Monday at 11am in St Canice’s Parish Church at 1am. Interment afterwards is at St Kieran’s Cemetery.
Kieran, aged 90, is survived by his wife Margaret; son Pat; daughters Mary, Margaret, Hilary and Angela.
He was predeceased by his son Edmond; parents Patrick and Mary and brother Tom.
He is also survived by his brothers Pat, Bernard, Jim and Michael; sisters Patricia and Nuala; sons-in-law, daughter-in-law, 10 grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews and nieces.