Cllr Ginty is new chairperson of Ballina Municipal District

Cllr Gerry Ginty

Cllr Gerry Ginty

There's a new top man in local politics in Ballina. 

Independent Cllr Gerry Ginty was elected Cathaoirleach (chairperson ) of the Ballina Municipal District last week. 

Cllr Ginty takes over from fellow Independent Cllr Seamus Weir. 

Cllr Ginty was nominated for the position by Fianna Fáil's Cllr Michael Loftus, seconded by Cllr Annie May Reape (FF ). 

Fine Gael's Cllr Jarlath Munnelly was also nominated for the role by Cllr Neil Cruise (FG ), seconded by Cllr John O'Hara (FG ) but he lost out when it was put to the vote by four to three.

The Fine Gael trio of Cllr Munnelly; Cllr O'Hara and Cllr Cruise were outvoted by the Fianna Fáil/Independent block of Cllr Loftus, Cllr Reape, Cllr Ginty and Cllr Weir. 

Cllr Michael Smith (FF ) was absent for the vote. 

Cllr Michael Loftus was installed, unopposed, as Leas Cathaoirleach (vice chairperson ). He was proposed by Cllr Reape, seconded by Cllr Weir. 

Cllr Ginty addressed the meeting briefly.

He said some of his main priorities during his year as Cathaoirleach will be the promotion of tourism and protecting jobs in the area.

"We have the natural product there, we just have to sell it," he suggested.

"I am honoured to be chair," added Cllr Ginty. "While I am a Ballina man, I see my role as representing every town and village in this municipal district and that I will do to the best of my ability."

Cllr Ginty has been involved in local politics in Ballina for more than 40 years. 

He was first elected to Ballina Urban District Council (latterly Ballina Town Council ) in 1974 and served as chairperson on that authority in 1978/'80. He was elected to Mayo County Council in 2009.

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