New Ardee Municipal District Cathaoirleach Pearse McGeough
Sinn Féin councillor Pearse McGeough was named the new Cathaoirleach of the Ardee Municipal District on Thursday evening.
McGeough was proposed by his party colleague Tom Cunningham and went up against Ardee-based Dolores Minogue, who was proposed by Colm Markey. A tie in the election - three votes to three - led to the names being drawn from a bag, with McGeough the victor.
He replaces Fianna Fáil's Liam Reilly in the role.
"I'd like to commiserate Councillor Minogue," McGeough said at Thursday's AGM. "Its an absolute honur to chair the Municipal District. I was elected in 2004. My view for the year is to, and always has been, to represent all of the people - Clogherhead to Killany, Collon and Dromiskin."
Minogue, who was elected as Leas Cathaoirleach, wished McGeough the best of luck. "I look forward to working with you," she said.
The incoming Cathaoirleach also took time to praise Councillor Reilly's contribution to the role over the last 12 months.
"I would like to congratulate Liam on the last year. The Civic Awards was a brilliant initiative. It was great to see people recognised in a tangible way."
Cunningham said Reilly "deserved the position. You've been here a long time" while Jim Tenanty added the Dromiskin man was "very easy to work with."
Reilly himself said, "It's been a busy year. I'm delighted we spent a lot of time on the budget and to get to an agreement on that. There is a lot of stuff in the budget to the benefit of the Ardee Municipal District area."
He also thanked the members of the press for their coverage "through thick and thin."
Afterwards, Cathaoirleach McGeough elaborated on what he wanted to acheive going forward in his year in the role.
“There are a few challenges that need to be prioritised this year. We need to appreciate the area’s potential for jobs and enterprise," he said.
"Sometimes we tend to be overlooked in favour of Drogheda or Dundalk but we have a lot to offer too. I would like to see the Ardee By-pass well underway and to tackle the drugs and alcohol usage and addiction in the area especially among young people.
"These are projects that will require all of us and multi-agencies working together but if we have the will, it can be done.”
McGeogh also stated he was please to see the pact that had previously kept Sinn Féin members out of chairperson positions "broken."
With both McGeough and Cunningham proposing and voting for Sinn Féin, it was Independent councillor Tenanty's vote for McGeough that led to a tie.