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Wednesday 13 December 2017

New era as chains of office handed over

Brian McDonald, Shane Hickey and Olivia Kelleher

A FIANNA Fail councillor has been elected mayor of Galway city as annual changeovers in local authority control continue.

Michael Crowe was elected mayor after he defeated Labour councillor Colette Connolly by nine votes to six.

Councils around the country have been electing new chairs over the last number of days and will continue into next week.

Mr Crowe took the mayoral chain and became the first native of the Bohermore area of the city to win the honour as a result of an existing agreement between Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the three former members of the Progressive Democrats on Galway City Council.

He said job creation would be one of the main priorities of his term of office.

In Sligo, Fine Gael councillor Matt Lyons was elected mayor at the council's annual general meeting, the third time he has held the position.

Another Fine Gael councillor, Tony McLoughlin was elected deputy mayor. Last night, Mr Lyons said he was "absolutely delighted" to secure the position for the third time, his last period in office being in 1995.

He said infrastructure and transport projects would be central themes to his year as mayor.

Even though Sligo is a gateway city, Mr Lyons said there were a large number of projects which were not happening in the area, including the upgrading of roads.

In Cork, a Labour party councillor is to assume the role of mayor later this week.

Cllr Mick O'Connell, said: "I will be doing all I can to help in some major projects, like the docklands development.

"I want to do anything I can as lord mayor for the people of Cork," he said. He previously served as deputy mayor of Cork in 2006 and was first elected to Cork City Council in 1999.

Cork City Council has a three-way mayoral pact in place between Fianna Fail, Labour and Fine Gael and the office will be rotated over the next few years as a result.

The pact has frequently been criticised by Socialist Party councillor Mick Barry.

Dublin City Council is expected to elect its new mayor next Monday after Labour councillor Emer Costello's term expires.

South Dublin county council will elect a new mayor on Friday.

Irish Independent

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