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05 Jul 2022

Cllr Keelan elected new Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council

Louth County Council Annual Meeting

Cllr Keelan elected new Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council

New Cathaoirleach, Cllr Conor Keelan receives the chain of office from outgoing Cathaoirleach, Cllr Pio Smith. (PHOTO: Arthur Kinahan

Louth County Council's annual meeting took place at the County Hall in Dundalk on Monday, with two items on the agenda - to elect a new Cathaoirleach and Leas Cathaoirleach for the ensuing year, in accordance with Section 36 of the Local Government Act, 2001, as amended.

At the start of the meeting, outgoing Cathaoirleach, Cllr Pio Smith, thanked the members for their professionalism and courtesy during his year in office. Cllr Smith also thanked the executive for providing their expertise during the year,
Several councillors expressed their good wishes and gratitude to the outgoing Cathaoirleach, including Cllr Liam Reilly, who thanked Cllr Smith on behalf of the Fianna Fáil party.

Cllr Kevin Meenan thanked Cllr Smith on behalf of the Sinn Féin party and said he was very fair and a great ambasador for the role. Thanks also came from Cllr Marianne Butler, Cllr James Byrne, Cllr Pauline Tully, Cllr Paddy McQuillan, Cllr Jim Tenanty and Cllr Michelle Hall. Chief Executive Joan Martin congratulated the outgoing Cathaoirleach on a “great” year in office, and mentioned the commemoration event for those who lost their lives to Covid-19 and the civic event for Amy Broadhurst among the highlights of the year.

Following this, nominations were taken for the new Cathaoirleach, with Cllr Liam Reilly nominating Cllr Conor Keelan and Cllr Kevin Meenan nominating Cllr Antóin Watters. Following a role call vote, Cllr Keelan was elected to the role of Cathaoirleach for the upcoming year. 

ABOVE: New Cathaoirleach welcomes new Leas Cathaoirleach, Cllr Andrea McKevitt (Photo: Arthur Kinahan)

As his first task as new Cathaoirleach, Cllr Keelan sought nominations for Leas Cathaoirleach. Cllr Pearse McGeough nominated Cllr Joanna Byrne and Cllr Sean Kelly nominated Cllr Andrea McKevitt, with Cllr McKevitt being elected by the members to the role of Leas Cathaoirleach.

Following this, the new Cathaoirleach thanked those who proposed and those who voted for him. He added that he would act as a fair Cathaoirleach while in office. Among his remarks to the members present, Cllr Kelan said that he was happy to see the return of the mass for deceased members and thanked the Chief Executive for restoring the mass.

Members across the chamber welcomed the new Cathaoirleach, and the new Leas Cathaoirleach. Cllr Sean Kelly said he was continuing on the proud family tradition and following in his father's footsteps as Cathaoirleach. Good wishes also came from councillors including, Cllr John Reilly, Cllr Butler, Cllr Tomás Sharkey, Cllr Liam Reilly, Cllr Kevin Callan and Cllr Paddy McQuillan. CE Joan Martin congratulated Cllr Keelan commenting that it was a great honour for “you and your family.”

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