It was a week of changes at the top tables of local politics in Mayo with the election of new Cathaoirleach and mayors in the four local authorities in the county. On Monday afternoon, Fine Gael councillor Cyril Burke was elected as Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council for the coming year at the AGM of the council. The meeting itself had to be adjourned for a short time following an interruption by a group of mostly Shell to Sea protesters, who were protesting over a high pitched noise they had to endure over the June Bank Holiday weekend while Shell was carrying out hydro-testing in the area. After the meeting resumed, Cllr Burke was elected as Cathaoirleach and Cllr Patsy O’Brien as leas-Cathoirleach. Cllr Burke is also the Cathaoirleach of the BMW regional assembly.
In Ballina, Fianna Fáil councillor Willie Nolan took over as Méara from Independent councillor Peter Clarke at the Ballina Town Council AGM on Wednesday night. Fianna Fáil’s Johnny O’Malley was elected as deputy Méara following a vote in the chamber where he beat Fine Gael candidate Josie Egan 6-3.
Cllr Brendan Heneghan was expected to be elected as the new Mayor of Castlebar Town Council at that council’s AGM which was due to take place last night after this paper went to print. If elected, Cllr Heneghan would take over the chain of office from Cllr Eugene McCormack. In Westport Town Council, Cllr Ollie Gannon was elected as Cathaoirleach but there was political scrapping over the position of leas-Cathoirleach with Fine Gael shooting down a proposal to share the leas-Cathoirleac position. (See full story on page one )