Friday 23 August 2019

It's a first - council's 50-50 gender balance

Newly elected Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown FG councillors: (back row): Barry Ward, Jennifer Carroll McNeill, Jim O’Leary, Kazi Ahmed, Anna Grainger, Jim Gildea and Lorraine Hall; (front row): John Kennedy, Marie Baker, John Bailey, Barry Saul, Emma Blaine and Maeve O’Connell. PHOTO: DAMIEN EAGERS
Newly elected Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown FG councillors: (back row): Barry Ward, Jennifer Carroll McNeill, Jim O’Leary, Kazi Ahmed, Anna Grainger, Jim Gildea and Lorraine Hall; (front row): John Kennedy, Marie Baker, John Bailey, Barry Saul, Emma Blaine and Maeve O’Connell. PHOTO: DAMIEN EAGERS

Alan O'Keeffe and Luke Byrne

History was made yesterday when a new county council held an inaugural meeting with a 50-50 gender balance.

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Council's make up of 20 men and 20 women councillors is the first time in the history of the State a local authority membership was evenly balanced on gender.

Fifteen new members were welcomed into the council chamber for the first time.

Among the 25 veterans to return after the local elections was Fine Gael councillor John Bailey, the father of Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey, a former member of the council.

Fianna Fáil's Cllr Shay Brennan, son of the late former FF minister Seamus Brennan, was elected by councillors to take the role of Cathaoirleach for the first year of the council's five-year term.

Independent Deirdre Donnelly was elected Leas Cathaoirleach for the next 12 months. She represents the Stillorgan area.

Meanwhile, Paul McAuliffe is the new Lord Mayor of Dublin.

The Fianna Fáil councillor was last night elected by his colleagues of the new Dublin City Council.

It was the first meeting of the council since the local elections on May 24.

Cllr McAuliffe has become the 350th Lord Mayor, taking over from Nial Ring.

He was born and raised in Finglas, where his family have been resident for more than 60 years.

He has been an elected member of Dublin City Council since 2009, representing Finglas, Glasnevin, Ballymun and Santry.

He has also served as the chairperson of the council's Enterprise and Economic Development Committee and is a member of the seven-person Corporate Policy Group (CPG) chaired by the Lord Mayor.

Irish Independent

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