Councillors at Monday’s meeting of the Athlone Municipal District extended a warm welcome to the chamber’s newest representative, Ailish McManus.
The Independent Alliance affiliate replaced Dáil-bound Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran in the Athlone chamber for the first time this week.
Mayor Tom Farrell was the first to extend his welcome to Cllr McManus: “I just want to take a minute to welcome Ailish McManus to the Municipal District Council,” he said. “I think it is great to see a lady here to keep manners on us all,” Mayor Farrell joked, “and I would just like to wish you all the best going forward.”
The Mayor’s words were echoed by Independent Cllr Michael O’Brien who said he has known Cllr McManus for many years. Cllr O’Brien said he was glad to welcome someone to the chamber whom he considers to be “a capable” representative for the district.
Fine Gael’s John Dolan told Cllr McManus that the councillors that make up the chamber are a team despite opposing political loyalties. He told Athlone’s newest councillor she could “pick up the phone” and call any member of the chamber “any time” if needed.
Sinn Féin’s Paul Hogan expressed a similar sentiment to Cllr Dolan. He told Cllr McManus that the councillors of the chamber are a team and that they “try to keep politics out of it” in terms of getting local business done. Cllr Hogan wished his new colleague well and said he looks forward to working with her in the coming years.