Cllr Seighin O’Ceallaigh has come in for criticism for his moon landing comments
THE Limerick councillor at the centre of an astronomical controversy says he never intended for his comments about the moon landing to be taken seriously.
Sinn Fein Cllr Seighin O’Ceallaigh was reacting to strong criticism of him on social media and in some national newspapers.
At a meeting of the Metropolitan District before Christmas, he questioned if the moon landing actually took place as he criticised the proposed theme of this year’s St Patrick’s Festival.
As reported by the Limerick Leader, he said he was opposed to the “One Giant Leap” theme as it relates to what he claimed is fake news which has no connection to Limerick.
During the meeting, he described the moon-landing as being “much-disputed” – even referring to some theories that it may have been filmed in Hollywood.
The founder of Astronomy Ireland – David Moore – says the claims “simply do not hold water”.
Speaking on Tuesday, he said he was satisfied the moon landing did take place 50 years ago in 1969.
“I’ve met and interviewed Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and some of the other moon-walkers as well, they are genuine people and we definitely had the technology to do it – especially as it was a matter of great prestige for the Americans in the space race against the Russians – the Soviets at the time,” he said.
These conspiracy theories saying that we didn’t go to the moon just don’t hold water and I know some of the statements are definitely false – we can show that,” he added.
In a brief statement, reacting to the criticism, Cllr O’Ceallaigh said his comments at the meeting were made in jest.
“While discussing the suggested theme for St Patrick's Day in Limerick, I jokingly said that the moon landing was disputed by some.
“I never intended nor expected this remark to be taken seriously. I, of course, did not say I disputed this as it is a well documented piece of history.
“I continued to say that since this is the centenary year of the Limerick Soviet that this would be a more appropriate theme,” he said.