Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and US President Barrack Obama should be invited to come back to Ireland and include Galway on their itinerary according to new Mayor Terry O’Flaherty.
Inviting the British monarch and the current US president is among the goals of the new Mayor who was elected to the position of the city’s first citizen this week.
Racking up the number of years one family has spent in the Galway mayoral chair, the family of Independent councillor Terry O’Flaherty would take the top spot. This is the second occasion on which Cllr O’Flaherty has served as mayor.
The well seasoned Mayor says she is committed to introducing Mandarin to schools in the city, and a crackdown on boarded up houses.
Following in her mothers footsteps, who served the council for 25 years and twice as mayor, Cllr O’Flaherty has been honoured with becoming the eighth female mayor of the city.
At the AGM of Galway city council on Monday evening Cllr O’Flaherty was raised to the position with no competition after being proposed by Fianna Fáil councillor Ollie Crowe.
Cllr Crowe said: “There are no issues too small or too big for Terry O’Flaherty. She’s a first class lady and represents her city to the core.”
He also commented on the confidence of the new mayor, reminiscing that in a previous election: “John Mulholland had a book on Terry topping the poll during the election, she backed herself at 12:1 and took her campaign team out to spend the four figure sum.”
Dubbed as the “mammy” of the chamber, by councillor Niall McNelis, the elected members acknowledged Cllr O’Flaherty’s popularity and professionalism. Political allies, Galway West TD Noel Grealish and former minister Bobby Molloy, sat in the public gallery, while members of her family had travelled from around the world to attend the ceremony.
Speaking about the goals she intends to achieve over the next 12 months Cllr O’Flaherty recalled a brighter time in the city.
“There was a time when there was great colour in the city,” she said. “The mayor was named Green, we had bishop Brown, and harbourmaster White. Galway also earned its name as the fastest growing city in Europe.”
Cllr O’Flaherty says she wants to see the introduction of the Mandarin language to schools to increase employment opportunities for citizens in the future.
The turnaround time for boarded up houses has been an ongoing issue for the new Mayor and she is committed to spending time speeding up the matter.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the visit of US president John F Kennedy to Galway, Cllr O’Flaherty will hold a celebration next year inviting members of the Kennedy family. She is also keen to attract more celebrities to the city.
“The visits of Queen Elizabeth and Barrack Obama were great, but it was disappointing that they did not visit Galway. We must work together to attract them.”
Just 15 months after he was co-opted to the council in order to replace Galway West TD Brian Walsh, councillor Frank Fahy was proposed and accepted for the position of Deputy Mayor.