Councillor Seamus Weir will have two chains of office to wear for a few weeks this summer.
The current cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council was elected cathaoirleach of Ballina Municipal District following the annual general meeting at Ballina Civic Offices today.
He follows on from fellow Independent Councillor Mark Duffy, who had an eventful year wearing the chain, among the highlights being the visit of US President Joe Biden to Ballina a few months ago.
Councillor Duffy thanked fellow councillors, council staff and everyone who helped him during his year at the helm.
“It’s a great town and area, with brilliant people, and to serve as cathaoirleach for the past 12 months has been a privilege,” said Councillor Duffy.
He received praise from his fellow councillors for the way in which he represented Ballina MD during a ‘wonderful’ year and for his fairness in chairing meetings.
Declan Turnbull, head of Ballina MD, said it was great to be able to work with Councillor Duffy for the past 12 months, and he thanked him for all the support he had given to staff in the office.
Also on behalf of the management team, Tom Gilligan, director of services, praised Councillor Duffy for the way he worked not alone for Ballina MD, but the county as a whole.
Proposed by Councillor Annie May Reape and seconded by Councillor Michael Loftus, Councillor Weir was elected cathaoirleach unopposed.
He had pre-empted the election by saying that while an agreement was in place regarding the appointment of a cathaoirleach, he was open to giving a chance to someone else or sharing the term with a colleague.
Mr. Turnbull said the agenda item was to appoint a cathaoirleach until the next annual general meeting or until the next local elections, and Councillor Weir was elected after being proposed and seconded.
Thanking his colleagues, the new cathaoirleach said his hope for the year ahead was to see further progress on the Ballina ring road and the N26.
He added that he looked forward to working with colleagues in the year ahead. “No doubt there will be bumps and hollows but we will do our best!”
Councillor Annie May Reape was elected leas cathaoirleach following a proposal by Councillor Loftus, seconded by Councillor Duffy.
Both Councillor Weir and Councillor Reape were congratulated on their appointments and wished well in the year ahead.
Councillor Weir’s term as Mayo County Council cathaoirleach will conclude when his replacement is appointed at the authority’s annual general meeting in the coming weeks.