Monday 15 July 2019

Keogan is surprised as she takes council chair

Hubert Murphy

Democracy was alive and well in the Laytown/Bettystown council chamber last week when independent Sharon Keogan was named Cathaoirleach - being the only nomination.

And at a time of pacts and political dealing, it was quite a result given that Fianna Fail have three on the council, Fine Gael, two and Labour, one.

Indeed, the lone Labour councillor, Annie Hoey, was elected Leas Cathaoirleach, beating Fine Gael's Sharon Tolan on a 5-2 vote.

Cllr Keogan was nominated for the top role by Cllr Sharon Tolan. She said 'the electorate had spoken' in respect of Cllr Keogan topping the poll in the district. Annie Hoey seconded the proposal.

Cllr Hoey was also nominated for the Traveller Accommodation group and the Meath Heritage Forum.

There was a contest for the two places on the Indaver grant scheme, with Cllr Stephen McKee receiving three votes and Cllr Keogan then drawn from a vote after she tied 2-2 with Cllr Paddy Meade.

Cllr Keogan said she was surprised to be nominated for the role, but appreciated the gesture from her fellow councillors.

'To be unopposed was incredible,' she stated.

'I have worked hard for this and I intend to keep on working hard,' she added.

She created history at the election when becoming the first woman to be elected in two different districts.

She said she wanted the IDA to play a bigger role in Duleek, but was delighted to see that 70 jobs were coming, courtesy of a firm in the Business Park.

'Job creation and social entrepreneurship are vital. I intend to work with the council on that.

She says that the roloe of South Drogheda remains crucial to the development of the area and she wants the East Meath council and the Drogheda municipal to work together to help the people of the region.

She said she wanted to see them meet up and she would be talking to the city status group to see how that can be progressed going into the future.

Outgoing Cathaoirleach and new chairman of Meath CC, Wayne Harding , said one of the highlights of his term was going to Waterford to see how their greenway had been such a success.

He said the same can happen in the Boyne Valley and it was a goal of his to see that succeed and develop in the coming years.

Drogheda Independent