Willie elected chairperson of Enniscorthy district council
It was a proud day for councillor Willie Kavanagh last week as he was officially elected Chairman of Enniscorthy Municipal District. The Oylegate publican was co-opted onto the council back in March of 2016 following James Browne's election to the Dáil and at last week's council meeting, he was handed the ceremonial chains unopposed by outgoing Chairman Cllr Keith Doyle, who now takes up the role of County Council Chairman.
Cllr Doyle welcomed his successor's family to the council chambers and remarked that it was a very proud day for them all. He reflected on some of the successes enjoyed during the year including the numerous festivals which continue to grow, welcoming Ambassadors from Taiwan and Australia and seeing projects such as the Technology Park, the Templeshannon Regeneration and the Flood Defence draw every closer.
'I'd like to thank my fellow members for their courtesy and help during the year,' he said. 'I think we all co-operated very well and I'd also like to thank the officials, particularly Liz (Hore) and John (Carley), and all the council staff for their help.
Cllr Barbara Anne Murphy congratulated Cllr Doyle on a great year before officially proposing Cllr Kavanagh for the chair. 'It was my honour to propose him for co-option onto the council and now I'd like to propose Cllr Willie Kavanagh for the Chair,' she said.
Cllr Paddy Kavanagh also joined Cllr Murphy in praising the outgoing Chairman, before seconding her proposal.
'I'd like to congratulate Keith on an excellent year in the chair,' he said. 'You could say that there was nothing major during the course of your tenure, but that's just the way it goes sometimes. I wish you well as the County Chairman and it's great to have an Enniscorthy representative in County Hall. I'd also like to second Cllr Murphy's proposal for Willie Kavanagh - a namesake of mine, but of a different political persuasion. What is evident is that we want the same for the area, although it's different areas now that he's in Kilmuckridge! I wish you all the very best Willie.'
Cllr Johnny Mythen echoed his colleagues' comments on the outgoing Chairman saying that he 'always has the town in his heart' and congratulated Cllr Kavanagh on becoming Chairman as did Cllr Kathleen Codd Nolan who said Cllr Doyle was 'always very fair' and had 'really put his shoulder to the wheel.'
Cllr Oliver Walsh pointed out that usually when people finished up as Chairman, they'd be looking forward to a quieter time, however, having been appointed as County Chairman, Cllr Doyle was set to be busier than ever. He then congratulated Cllr Kavanagh on his appointment, joking: 'I'll look forward now to seeing all the money for Enniscorthy going to the east of the district.'
District Manager Liz Hore thanked the outgoing Chairman for helping her to establish herself in the District and pledged her and her team's support to Cllr Willie Kavanagh as he takes the reins.
Director of Services John Carley said: 'I'd like to congratulate Keith on his new role as Chairman of the County Council. I'm sure with it being an election year, it'll be an interesting year to be in the chair! This year, he has presided over a hurricane, which we've never seen before, and the worst snow storms since 1982, so I suppose from that point of view, things can only get better! In all seriousness though, Keith has always made himself available to attend all of the events he was asked to, and that takes some doing. I also greatly look forward to working with Willie as Chairman over the coming year.'
Having taken the chains, Cllr Kavanagh said: 'It's a great honour to be elected Chairman and I'd like to thank my proposer and seconder. I'd also like to congratulate Keith on making the step up to a higher office and hopefully with him in the County Chair and me in the Chair here, we can get a lot done for Enniscorthy.'
Cllr Kathleen Codd Nolan was then elected as Vice Chairperson for the year having been proposed by Cllr Paddy Kavanagh and seconded by Cllr Oliver Walsh. 'I'd like to thank my proposer and seconder and I hope myself and Willie will work very well together during the year. I'm sure we will.'