CLLR Tommy Annesley has been elected as the new Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council following Monday afternoon’s AGM.
Cllr Annesley was proposed by Cllr Pat Fitzgerald, and seconded by Cllr Vincent Blake. Cllr Joe Behan was proposed by Cllr Tom Fortune and seconded by Cllr Peir Leonard, with Cllr Annesley receiving 24 votes and Cllr Behan receiving 8 votes.
Cllr Fitzgerald commented: “Cllr Annesley is a very effective public representative and is available day and night and is widely respected in the county.”
Cllr Blake stated: “I have known Cllr Annesley for a number of years now. I know the dedication and the commitment he gives to the people of Arklow and I am sure he will give the same commitment to the whole county.”
Cllr Annesley’s family were present in the council chamber when the Cathaoirleach chain of office was passed onto him by Cllr Shay Cullen. He was also quick to honour the memory of his parents, who would have been extremely proud of his achievement.
“I can’t help think what my father would say with me sitting up here at the head of the council chamber. He made sure that he gave every one of his children a voice and an opinion they weren’t afraid to share. Then I realised I am actually currently in the most opinionated room in all of Wicklow, with 32 voices, all of whom have strong opinions.”
He also remembered late Councillors Pat Doran and Pat Kavanagh, both of whom Cllr Annesley served alongside on Wicklow County Council.
“I have learnt so much from previous chairs of the council, such as Cllr Kennedy and Cllr Winters. I won’t go back through them all, but on a moment like this I must also remember former Councillor Pat Doran, who was a great influence on me. I also have to mention Cllr Pat Kavanagh, who was also here in the council chamber.”
He also thanked Cllr Behan for contesting the position of Cathaoirleach.
“I would have voted for you Joe, but my name was also up.”
He also praised outgoing Cathaoirleach, Cllr Shay Cullen, for the dignified manner in which he acted during his one-year term.
“Cllr Cullen was available 24-7 and will be a very difficult act to follow. God knows what you were going through with your business life and the war in Ukraine with the rise in oil prices, but you always made yourself available.”
Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council, Brian Gleeson, also wished Cllr Annesley the best of luck over the year ahead.
“I want to congratulate you and your family. It’s a tremendous honour to be elected as the first citizen of the county. You will get the full support of all the council and staff. You took up a request to chair a meeting earlier in the year and you did a fantastic job, which I have no doubt you will continue for the rest of the year.”