New mayor of Clonmel Garret Ahearn with his wife Laura following his election in Clonmel town hall
New mayor of Clonmel Garret Ahearn plans to promote physical and mental health during his term in office.
The first time Fine Gael councillor was elected unopposed as mayor in Clonmel Town Hall.
Also elected unopposed as deputy mayor was Workers and Unemployed Action Group councillor Pat English.
A pact between Fine Gael's two councillors, Ahearn and Michael Murphy, Fianna Fail's Siobhan Ambrose, Cllr English and Cllr Richie Molloy will share the mayoralty between them over the five years of the council.
A move by independent councillor Niall Dennehy to propose an amendment to the election of the mayor failed. He called on the council to elect a chairman, rather than a mayor, and forego the mayor's salary, but it was ruled out of order because it wasn't submitted in time.
He said the last time he was a councillor, the former Clonmel Corporation had a budget of €17m.
“Now it's a subcommittee of the county council dealing with litter and school wardens. By electing a mayor of Clonmel we are continuing with this masquerade”, he claimed.
Cllr Ahearn was nominated as mayor by party colleague and county council chairman, Michael Murphy, and seconded by Cllr Ambrose.
He said that as a first time councillor it was a privilege to become the first citizen but it was an honour he didn't expect.
He added - “Politics is a difficult business, and it can be hugely complicated. I am aware that in the time to come, tempers may fray and disagreements may flare up, but we will work together for the betterment of this town. As mayor, I promise you, I will adjudicate without fear or favour based on the respect for each councillor’s democratic mandate”.
Announcing his plan to put an emphasis on health during his term, he said -
“A mayor has opportunities to highlight and work on key topics of personal interest with hopefully positive outcomes. I intend to promote physical and mental wellbeing. A healthy community is essential to allow people live their lives to their full potential.
“I welcome the recent announcement of Jigsaw locating in County Tipperary. Jigsaw is the national centre for youth mental health and provide vital supports to young people by working closely within their communities.
“Last year Tipperary County Council launched an initiative in conjunction with Healthy Ireland called “A Strategy for a healthy Tipperary”. This was carefully considered and was thus, categorised in areas such as positive ageing, healthy eating to employment and the workplace.
“Our community is no different to any other in terms of demographics. We have the busy parents, we have single parents juggling two jobs, we have the isolated rural farmer, the struggling business owner, we have the successful entrepreneurs, children struggling through their leaving cert or junior cert, we have the grade A student and the retired couple.
“And for each of these people positive mental health and wellbeing is so important.”
Other priorities during the year will include redevelopment of Kickham Barracks, the new sports hub, the Blueway and the Bulmers visitor centre in Dowds Lane.