DINGLE Councillor Seamus Cosaí Fitzgerald (51) of Fine Gael was elected unopposed as Mayor of Kerry at Kerry County Council's annual general meeting last Friday, taking over the chain of office from Cllr. Terry O'Brien.
The new Mayor of Kerry, a farmer by profession, is a native of Na Gleannta (Glens), west of Dingle and takes up the twelve month office on his third term in Kerry County Council, having first been elected in 1999. He is married to Anna Marie and they have two children, Ellen and John.
Speaking firstly as Gaeilge before the council last Friday after his election, Mayor Fitzgerald spoke of the "challenging year" that lies ahead for the council.
"This year will be an even more challenging year for us here in the Council and in the County, firstly in trying to maintain the services which we are providing and secondly in trying to maintain the budget to provide all those very necessary services," said Mayor Fitzgerald.
He also called on banks to assist farmers during this time of the fodder crisis and paid particular mention to the needs of small businesses who, he stated, were not facing up to their responsibilities in terms of lending to smaller businesses, calling on the banks to "stop paying lip-service and funding advertising campaigns."
"This money which they are spending on advertising would be better spent on people who are genuinely trying to keep their business afloat," he said.
Ballylongford councillor Liam Purtill will join Mayor Fitzgerald as his deputy. He was also elected unopposed.