Mullinahone Independent Cllr Eddie O’Meara was elected as first chairman of the new Carrick-on-Suir Municipal District Council at the local authority’s annual meeting in Carrick Town Hall yesterday morning (Tuesday).
The veteran councillor, one of three independents to join the Fianna Fail/Fine Gael dominated voting pact on Tipperary Co. Council last Friday, was elected unopposed to the position of chairman while FF Cllr Imelda Goldsboro from Ballingarry was elected unopposed to the position of vice-chairperson.
Their election was thanks to a voting pact comprising four of the Council’s six members including FG Cllrs John Fahey and Louise McLoughlin as well as Cllrs O’Meara and Goldsboro.
O’Meara were proposed and seconded as chair by FG councillors Fahey and McLoughlin respectively while Goldsboro was proposed by Cllr McLoughlin and seconded by Cllr Fahey.
Carrick-on-Suir Sinn Fein Cllr David Dunne, who topped the poll in the Carrick Municipal District election, failed to secure any support for his proposal to adopt the d’Hondt system of selecting council chairperson and vice-chairperson.
Tabling his proposal, Cllr Dunne suggested the Council didn’t have to apply the d’Hondt system to the letter of the law, which would mean he as the poll topper in the Carrick MD would be the first chairman.
He proposed instead that a representative of Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein and the two independents would serve a term each as chairperson during the five year term.
“I think this is the fairest way to distribute the chair. We need to be united as six members when we go forward to the County Council,” said Cllr Dunne.
Cllr Kieran Bourke seconded Cllr Dunne’s proposal only to allow it be debated as he didn’t agree with the d’Hondt system being adopted by the Council. The proposal was put to a vote and rejected by five votes to one.
After donning the new chains of office of Municipal District chairman, Cllr O’Meara said it was an honour for him to take up this position after 15 years service as a county councillor. He said he sympathised to a certain extent with Cllr Dunne’s proposal but unfortunately this was not the way politics worked as yet but maybe in due course they would move in that direction. Cllr O’Meara pledged to work for the entire municipal district and singled out the district’s largest town, Carrick-on-Suir as an area he intends to focus on.
“I intend over the next few weeks to become more aware of the needs of Carrick-on-Suir. I intend to talk to local councillors to identify the town’s immediate and future needs,” he added.