At Nenagh Municipal District Council’s agm following May’s local elections, from left, Cllr John ‘Rocky’ McGrath, Cllr Michael O’Meara, Cllr Seamus Morris, new cathaoirleach Cllr Joe Hannigan; Cllr Hu
Independent Cllr Joe Hannigan has been elected cathaoirleach of Nenagh Municipal District Council following the local elections held in May.
Cllr Hannigan, who topped the poll in the Nenagh electoral area, was proposed by Cllr Seamus Morris and seconded by Cllr MichaelO’Meara. He was elected unopposed.
Cllr Hannigan said it was a great honour and a privilege to be elected cathaoirleach.
“I would like to thank the people who voted for me as I wouldn’t be here without them,” he said, before thanking his family and supporters.
The Kilbarron councillor pledged to be fair to everybody in the chamber and to make sure everyone got an opportunity to be heard.
He put the emphasis on his year in helping local communities as communities that are volunteering are a “reflection on your society”.
He hoped to give every opportunity to groups to identify streams of funding.
Cllr Hannigan also urged people to shop local, saying businesses were facing a serious challenge, particularly from online shopping.
“It is important to get the message across to support your local businesses,” he said.
Among other areas he wants to develop during his tenure are broadband, Nenagh’s proposed digital hub at Stereame, tourism, housing and, within the town itself, its heritage quarter.
“There is serious potential for development when you delve into the history and heritage,” said Cllr Hannigan.
He was congratulated by his fellow councillors, with Ger Darcy saying it was “well deserved”.
Cllr Seamus Morris said it was “no more that the massive amount of votes you got deserve”.
Cllr Michael O’Meara cautioned that the new cathaoirleach had a “huge job of work ahead” for the next year, but that Cllr Hannigan worked hard on the ground and was well respected in his area.
Cllr Hughie McGrath also felt Cllr Hannigan would have a “lot on your plate”, but that it was an honour to work with him.
Cllr John Carroll wished Cllr Hannigan a successful year.
Newly-elected Cllr John “Rocky” McGrath said he looked forward to working with Cllr Hannigan.
On behalf of the council, district manager Marcus O’Connor said he was sure Cllr Hannigan would ensure that the councillors continued to work together.
The councillors welcomed Cllr “Rocky” McGrath back on the council and sent their best wishes to former councillor Mattie Ryan, who lost his seat after 29 years in public life.
Cllr Fiona Bonfield, Labour, was elected unopposed as leas-chathaoirleach following an awkward silence. She was proposed by Cllr Morris and seconded by Cllr John Carroll. Cllr Bonfield said that being asked to take up the position had come as a surprise to her, but she was delighted to be given the opportunity.