Topping the poll in the Athlone electoral area, outgoing Fianna Fáil Town Mayor, Cllr. Frankie Keena, experienced his best local election result of the five ballot papers which he has contested to date. The Moydrum native was elected on the first count as Sunday afternoon in Moate Community Hall as the initial formal announcement of votes was made by Returning Officer, Ciaron Martin.
Speaking to the Athlone Advertiser moments following his re-election, Cllr. Keena, who has been an elected representative since 1995, reflected upon the “humbling” experience of receiving sufficient first preference votes which enabled him pass the quota on the first count.
“I am truly humbled that the Athlone electorate have put their faith in me as one of their elected representatives for the next five years and I just want to express my gratitude to those who awarded me their first preference vote. This is my fifth local election to contest and my best result to date and I must also acknowledge my family, friends, canvassers and supporters, all of whom have helped me to top the poll,” Cllr. Keena noted.
Noting his ongoing work within the community, Cllr. Keena enthused with regard to what the forthcoming elected representative term of office may bring to fruition.
“During the canvass it was great to receive such positive feedback pertaining to my community involvement as a Councillor and now I have received due reward for my work in this regard. I enjoy working with members of the community, both young and elderly alike, completing necessary paperwork, providing advice on planning issues or housing grants, be it on a one to one or a group scenario basis and this I aim to continue in the next five years,” Cllr. Keena highlighted.
The Fianna Fáil party member derives immense satisfaction when community projects in which he is involved come to fruition, but notes his frustration when he cannot deliver to his constituents.
“Throughout the canvass, I engaged with the public with regard to numerous issues on the doorsteps but made no promises. You just cannot give false promises in the political realm,” Cllr. Keena added.
With Athlone a designated urban growth centre, Cllr. Keena is hopeful there will be movement on the three regeneration projects mooted for the town in the near future and is focused on enhancing the Number 1 at Ranelagh on the west side from a tourism perspective.
“Hopefully, our town will continue to positively develop and be in much more advanced from an infrastructure viewpoint come the close of this forthcoming term of office,” Cllr. Keena concluded.