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By Caoimhín Mires

A Kerry woman has taken matters into her own hands and has exposed her bare arms as controversy continues to rage over a local CCÉ branch decision to enforce a dress code on women at its annual county fleadh cheoil.

Monica Dalooley, who has since been denounced in a statement by the branch as “a liberal, a feminist, and a mediocre fiddle player at best”, was not prepared to wear the ‘rainproof shrouds’ (pictured above) that were being handed out to female visitors as they entered the town to attend the popular traditional music event.

“I’ve never heard of anything like this before at a fleadh. It’s like something from the middle ages. We were told we couldn’t enter the competitions or get served in bars if we weren’t wearing those things. I came here to enjoy myself and go on the rip, not to be coerced into wearing anything for anyone”.

Delia Mullane , the CCÉ branch officer charged with maintaining public decency, defended the move saying, “I did B&B for the fleadh last year and I had a young fella who played the bodhrán staying with me. He played in that dribbling style that they all go mad for. Well, he had a steady stream of women up and down to his room all weekend, and I said to myself that next year this has to stop: somebody is going to catch something or get pregnant, and then we’ll get the blame."

Responding to condemnation of the measure by Dublin-based human rights and feminist groups Mullane said “Well, it’s all very easy for them up there to say these things, but when you’re in a small town down the country and you’ve got hundreds of young lads and lassies on your doorstep and them full of drink then you have to think on your feet”.

Local GP Terry Mangle told a Drone informant that his suggestion of handing out condoms to fleadh-goers had been shot down at the early stages of planning for the event.

“The branch thought that it would further encourage lewd behaviour. I don’t know about you, but I have never found being handed a condom by a stranger on the street to be particularly arousing”.

A Vatican spokesperson welcomed the CCÉ ‘cover-up’ initiative citing a recent World Health Organisation report that links syncopated rhythms and semi nakedness to promiscuous behaviour and increased instances of STDs.


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