Tony to drive on as county Clare’s new mayor

A FORMER Bus Eireann inspector from Killaloe has pushed to the highest of Clare County Council.

Councillor Tony O’Brien was elected unopposed as Clare’s subsequent first citizen and not using a vote as a part of the power-sharing association that was first brokered in 2004 on the annual common assembly in Ennis on Friday.

The previous Smith O’Brien GAA membership secretary changed Councillor PJ Ryan, who was lauded for being an excellent ambassador for the county over the previous 12 months.

Councillor O’Brien was proposed by his Fianna Fáil colleague, Councillor Pat Hayes and seconded by Joe Cooney, Advantageous Gael, whereas Councillor Gerry Flynn, Unbiased additionally expressed his help.

Councillor Hayes stated his shut good friend Councillor O’Brien’s years working as a union official for the Nationwide Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) has left him very grounded in actuality of how issues labored. Since his retirement from Bus Eireann, the brand new first citizen is difficult planning, housing and budgets within the council, Councillor Hayes stated.

Councillor Cooney stated he knew Councillor O’Brien earlier than they had been first elected within the council in 2004 and predicted he can be a superb chairman.

“Clare has benefited lots from energy sharing because it was launched in 2004.”

Councillor Gerry Flynn stated the ability sharing pact has ensured independents have gotten the chance to change into first citizen.

Councillor Ann Norton was elected as vice-chairperson for the following 12 months, succeeding Councillor Joe Killeen.

Councillor Flynn nominated Councillor Norton for the place, stating she has labored for essentially the most weak over the past 25 years, serving to to arrange the Clare Crusaders Clinic, which has offered very important remedy for youngsters with further wants.

He stated she is a proud mother or father of three superb youngsters.

Councillor Paul Murphy stated Councillor Norton is outspoken and campaigns for many who want help as a part of her nice caring nature.

“There may be by no means an agenda with Ann, what you see is what you get. I acquired to know her very properly over the past six years. I confided with Ann on a really personal household matter and that has led to a really robust friendship.”

Outgoing vice-chairman, Councillor Joe Killeen cited plenty of occasions in the course of the 12 months such because the signing of the West Clare Greenway in Moyasta, the celebration perform for Covid-19 volunteers, President Michael D Higgins’s go to to St Flannan’s Faculty, the contract signing for Liscannor waste water remedy plant and the go to of Neighborhood Minister Heather Humphreys.

In his wide-ranging deal with following his election, Councillor O’Brien pledged to work in partnership with the Shannon Group to draw additional funding and extra site visitors by means of Shannon Airport.

The Killaloe resident promised to proceed progressing the proposed takeover of the Shannon Heritage Vacationer websites, to work in collaboration with Transport Infrastructure Eire (TII) for the upgrading of the highway serving Shannon Airport and to proceed engaged on the event of the Strategic Growth Zone (SDZ) in South-East Clare, working in partnership with the College of Limerick.

He emphasised the significance of the lately opened Ennis South Flood Aid Scheme and dealing offering the brand new Springfield Flood Defence embankment.

Stressing the significance of the brand new Shannon River Crossing, he acknowledged sure difficulties nonetheless stay to be ironed out following the appointment of John Sisk as the primary contractor by the council, which is taking the lead position in progressing this venture.

He urged Clare’s Oireachtas members to make sure that all that’s essential is finished to start this venture instantly.

“Its necessity and significance to your complete east Clare area can’t be overstated,” he stated.

He criticised the elimination of Section Two of the Limerick Northern Distributor Highway (LNDR) from the Limerick Shannon Metropolitan Space Transport Technique as “nothing wanting disgraceful”.

“I decide to have this reinvestigated and marketing campaign to have it reintroduced as per the Clare County Growth Plan.”

He stated he wouldn’t be making any grandiose political guarantees.

“My dedication is to proceed to work for and on behalf of all of the folks of County Clare. To proceed the work on the numerous initiatives that are presently ongoing.

“To proceed the promotion and advertising and marketing of our nice county and all that we now have to supply, from the Burren, the Cliffs of Moher to Loop Head Lighthouse throughout to Inis Cealtra/Holy Island on the majestic river Shannon.

“And never forgetting the best peak within the Banner, the gorgeous mountainous panorama of Moylussa heading into the gateway to County Clare from the east, the historic city of Killaloe and every part in between.

“The bringing collectively of the Wild Atlantic Approach and Eire’s Hidden Heartlands. And when all the sweetness and tranquillity is seen and loved, it’s those who make our county so particular.

“I want to acknowledge the fantastic group spirit in our county, which is clear within the help that teams and volunteers are offering to displaced Ukrainians right here, who have gotten an excellent welcome within the county.”

Thanking his colleagues for bestowing this nice honour as council chairman, he accepted it not solely in a private capability but in addition on behalf of all his household, pals, Killaloe parish and its folks, and the little spot he calls heaven, The Cross Roads.

He paid tribute to his spouse, Majella, for her “timeless help” whether or not it’s politics, their beloved Smith O’Brien’s GAA membership, and group work.

He thanked his youngsters Shane, Elaine, son-in-law, Conor and his prolonged household for all their help and talked about his grandchildren Lucy, Billy, Maisy and Finn.

He recalled a very good good friend instructed him your actual pals again you even when you’re unsuitable.

Commenting on the Clare County Growth Plan and the annual Funds, he burdened they will’t be accomplished with out the enter of all members and the chief, bearing in mind respect and compromise can be required by all members.

He seemed ahead to working with councillors and the chief to marketing campaign as one collective voice for the county. He thanked pals and colleagues from Bus Éireann and the NBRU.

Concluding he remembered with pleasure his father, Billy, a bus driver, and grandparents, Willy and Mary O’Brien, who reared him on the Cross Roads in Killaloe.

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