Aengus O’Rourke was named Mayor of Athlone at Monday’s meeting of Municipal District (June 12 ).
In doing so the Fianna Fáil councillor became the third generation of the O’Rourke family to assume the position, following on from his grandfather PJ Lenihan and his mother Mary O’Rourke.
After Cllr John Dolan delivered his final address to the chamber as mayor, it was left to Cllr Frankie Keena (FF ) to propose his party colleague for the role of Athlone’s First Citizen.
Cllr Keena said it was his pleasure to nominate Cllr O’Rourke for the position. He remarked that Cllr O’Rourke had served an eight year apprenticeship since his election to the council back in 2009, and that he has no doubts he will provide the necessary work ethic to make the term a success.
Fine Gael councillor Tom Farrell seconded the proposal. In doing so he noted that the O’Rourke name is synonymous with Athlone, and that members of the family have served both the town and Westmeath with distinction throughout the years.
Fine Gael councillor, John Dolan, said that 37 years ago he and Cllr O’Rourke started Marist College together, and that it was great to now see him become mayor. He described O’Rourke as a team player and assured him that he will get all the support he might need in the coming 12 months.
Independent councillor Michael O’Brien said he has no doubts Cllr O’Rourke will make “a fantastic mayor”.
Cllr Ailish McManus (Ind ) welcomed the appointment, calling it long overdue, and wished the new mayor well in his role.
Director of services Barry Kehoe said it will be an exciting year with lots of important projects in the pipeline, and promised the support of the council executive throughout that time.
Mayor O’Rourke said his appointment is a proud day for himself and his family.
“It is a huge honour to serve your home town and your electoral district as the mayor, it is for most of us who are lucky enough to be in this position, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and experience,” he said.
Fianna Fáil councillor Frankie Keena has been installed as the new deputy mayor of Athlone, succeeding Cllr Tom Farrell.