Cutbacks of a positive kind as councillors vow to lose weight

Politicians may make promises on the campaign trail, but this time Kilkenny County Council Chairman Paul Cuddihy has declared a health-related commitment that he has no intention of breaking: to lose weight.

Politicians may make promises on the campaign trail, but this time Kilkenny County Council Chairman Paul Cuddihy has declared a health-related commitment that he has no intention of breaking: to lose weight.

And as he made the announcement at Monday’s County Council meeting, some other members vowed to join him.

“I go to meetings in the leisure centre where I am a member, and I leave without using it,” he said after a presentation by the Irish Sports Council and Kilkenny Recreation and Sports Partnership. “I am now making a commitment that I am going to lose weight.”

The chairman then enlisted the help of meetings administrator Anne Maria Walsh: “She can tell the councillors how much weight I am losing each month.”

Cllr Cora Long (FF) told the chairman that she and three other female councillors had decided to set a similar goal with a target date of Christmas, and she invited him to join them.

Pointing out that Cllr Billy Ireland (FG) did a parachute jump last weekend in a local campaign to highlight World Suicide Prevention Day, Cllr Cuddihy said: “There is a perception that sports is for young people and when the knees start to go it’s time to give up.”

“Exercise is the single most important thing you can do for your health,” noted Cllr Pat Crowley (FG), who is a GP. “In my area I am more likely to be seen on a bike than driving a car – and I’m not trying to join the Green Party,” he joked.

Of their newly declared initiative, Irish Sports Council CEO John Treacy said: “It is that type of leadership from yourselves that can be an example to the rest of the community. I am holding you to it.”