Ardee Town Council held a very special event last weekend when they invited former Ardee councillors and their families to a Gathering in Ardee Castle.
The event was organised by Cathaoirleach Fintan Malone and Cllr Michael Farrelly who compiled a list of all who served on the Ardee Town Commissioners and Ardee Town Council over the years.
Great efforts were made to contact hundreds of former members and their families to invite them to the Gathering.
“A lot of people contacted didn’t even know they had family members on the council,’ said Cllr Jim Tenanty.
Old pictures of councillors from down through the years were specially sourced for the event and went on display on the day.
Pictured is Cllr Fintan Malone, chairman of Ardee Town Council beside a picture of his late uncle Cllr Jimmy Malone who was a former chairman from 1955 to 1960 and 1980 to 1981.
He had the distinction of being the first chairman to wear the chains of office so it is especially fitting that his nephew Fintan will be the last chairman to wear the famous chains.
The old photos really help to illustrate the great history of the Ardee Town Council.
Anthony Hatch came all the way from Woking in Surrey for the event and was delighted to see a portrait of his great grand uncle William Hatch of Hatch’s Castle, Ardee who was the first chairman of Ardee Town Council in 1844.
Tom Minogue, former chairman of Ardee Town Council in 1975-1976 and 2003-2004 also attended the event with his daughter-in-law Cllr Dolores Minogue.
The event was a very special one as it was the last time the council would be coming together for such an event.
Next year will see the end of all town councils in the country, a move which may come to be regretted.
After the local elections in September of next year, Ardee Town Council, along with town councils all over the country will be abolished.
All of these seats will be replaced by three extra seats on the new county council.
That means that Ardee, which has a population of 4,900 will go from nine public representatives to an average of one.
The commissioners and now the town council has been the democratic voice of the town and have worked hard to keep Ardee moving with the times and ahead of most other towns its size.
One can only hope that all their hard work will not go to waste and that the town will continue to thrive.