An Irish politician has criticized the forthcoming visit of Nobel prize-winning Archbishop Desmond Tutu to Co. Mayo.
Archbishop Tutu is due to visit Ballina on May 11, the hometown of former president Mary Robinson, to support the proposed Mary Robinson Centre in West of Ireland town.
The Mayo News reports that Independent Councilor Gerry Ginty said talk of the visit ‘makes my blood boil’, during a Ballina Town Council meeting last week.
Cllr Ginty continued by saying South Africa had one of the worst crime rates in the world and had ‘no safety for women.'
“The only difference now is a small number of black men have the power. Tutu should go home and do something better for his own people,” he added.
In response Cllr Barry McLoughlin and Cllr Mark Winters told Cllr Ginty that his remarks were out of order.
“He’s the Archbishop of the church. He’s not responsible for the state of the country,” replied Cllr Winters.
Following on from the meeting the local councilor told the Sunday Independent that Archbishop Desmond Tutu would be better off doing something for his own people.
"He and other members of the South African elite have let their own people down – and I'm including Nelson Mandela in this, although I know you are not meant to say anything about him because he's a living saint," Councillor Gerry Ginty said.
The Independent politician said he was astonished at how little had changed.
"It's a country where it isn't safe for a woman, whether black or white, to put her nose out of doors once it gets dark and there is corruption everywhere," he said. "It seems strange to me that Archbishop Tutu should be coming here to tell us how to run our affairs."
During his May 11 visit, the Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town will endorse the proposed new Mary Robinson Centre with the presentation of a ‘Welcoming Stone.'