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Close contest for position of district Leas-Cathaoirleach

Council Report

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Cllr Aoife Flynn Kennedy

Cllr Aoife Flynn Kennedy

Cllr Aoife Flynn Kennedy

There was a tie between Cllr Aoife Flynn Kennedy and Cllr Dermot O'Brien for the position of Leas-Cathaoirleach, at the AGM of Bray Municipal District last Tuesday night in the town hall.

Cllr Joe Behan proposed that the two names go into a hat and that whoever was unsuccessful be next year's Leas-Cathaoirleach.

District manager Lorraine Gallagher said that under standing orders the members could decide only on this year's Leas-Cathaoirleach.

Cathaoirleach of Bray Municipal District, Cllr Anne Ferris, cast her deciding vote in favour of Cllr Flynn Kennedy.

Cllr Melanie Corrigan nominated Cllr Flynn Kennedy. She said that Cllr Flynn Kennedy has a lot of experience chairing meetings. She is a former chair of the drugs task force and currently of Ark Housing. 'I have worked closely with Aoife. She is very fair and competent and dedicated to her role. She serves the interests of the whole community of Bray, Enniskerry and Kilmacanogue.'

Cllr Anne Ferris seconded that nomination, commending Cllr Flynn Kennedy's track record and hard work.

Cllr Grace McManus congratulated Cllr Ferris on her re-election as Cathaoirleach.

Cllr McManus nominated Cllr Dermot O'Brien. She commented on her colleague's leadership skills. 'Anyone who knows him knows that leadership is the word,' she said. 'Whether in youth mental health, drugs, community response and other matters.' She said that Cllr O'Brien has displayed great skill in uniting across party lines, showing how to do that while holding his own and also working with everyone.

She added that it would represent the voters from a different constituency pool, with an east-west balance.

Cllr Joe Behan seconded that nomination. 'Cllr McManus put it very well myself. I will add my own admiration for Dermot's work as a councillor.

'I was already aware of his work in school completion and youth services. The quality of his work as a councillor stands out. His eloquence at council, public meetings and public fora are absolutely dazzling.

'He wants us to work together for the betterment of the town, and particularly for the most vulnerable people who don't have a voice. They have an excellent voice in Dermot O'Brien.'

Cllr Behan said that Cllr Flynn Kennedy has lots of excellent qualities also, and he would like to see both of them get the opportunity to be cathaoirleach over the term of the council.

Cllr Ferris said that she wished she could chose both candidates on this occasion. 'We would have to change the law!'

'You would both make very worthy chairpersons, I have great admiration for the two of you,' she said.

A vote was taken, with Cllr Joe Behan, Cllr Grace McManus, Cllr Dermot O'Brien and Cllr Rory O'Connor voting for Cllr O'Brien.

Cllr Anne Ferris, Cllr Aoife Flynn Kennedy, Cllr Erika Doyle and Cllr Melanie Corrigan voted for Cllr O'Brien.

After some discussion over how to manage the tie, Cllr Ferris decided to use her casting vote and select Cllr Flynn Kennedy.

Cllr Flynn Kennedy thanked her, and said that good points had been made. With regard to 'east and west', she said 'I decided when going for election, this was about the whole area.'

She said that she has huge respect for Cllr Dermot O'Brien. Cllr Ferris said that she also has huge respect for him. 'I know your time will come,' she said.

Bray People