From cliffhanger to top post
Published 10/06/2014 | 05:40
He survived a cliffhanger to get elected but on Friday last Joe Queenan got a ringing endorsement to become chairman of the new County Council.
The Fianna Fail Enniscrone based councillor took the chair of the new 18 seat body after being elected unopposed.
Fianna Fail and Fine Gael have agreed a power sharing pact for the next five years but the block of 11 votes wasn't needed with Queenan's unanimous election.
The pact however was required for the election of vice chairman with Fianna Fail and Fine Gael voting for Tom MacSharry.
Clr Sean MacManus was proposed by Clr Declan Bree and seconded by Clr Thomas Healy.
However, it was Clr MacSharry who prevailed on an eleven to six vote with Clr Michael Clarke abstaining.
Independents Marie Casserly and Clr Margaret Gormley voted for Clr MacManus.
Clr Queenan, a councillor for 15 years, said becoming chairman was his proudest moment since becoming a councillor.
He said: "It is a time of enormous change and great challenges.
"I am convinced of our ability and resolve to work together to meet these challenges, to focus on the many positives this council and this county has to offer.
"This is the start of a new era in local government, the process of reform presents new structures.
"The new responsibility we have in the area of economic development will involve us in important areas.
"These are as diverse as supporting enterprise, promoting tourism and showcasing our outstanding arts and culture sector."
Clr Queenan said the council needed to build on its excellent relationship with key local agencies.
"We have very important responsibilities and a duty to deliver them with diligence and integrity.
"I believe in the capacity of the elected members, the Chief Executive and his staff to work together to have a very positive effect on our busy agenda over the term of this council."
The farmer and businessman has been deeply involved with the GAA for many years, serving as chairman of the county board.