Councillors paid warm tributes to newly elected Galway East TDs Anne Rabbitte and Sean Canney at Monday’s local authority meeting.
Fine Gael’s Jimmy McClearn remarked that it was a particular feat by Sean Canney to have won a Dail seat as he had failed to do so in the 2011 General Election when the constituency was a four seater. Cllr McClearn said that it was a great thing for south Galway to have two deputies in the form of Rabbitte and Ciaran Cannon, as it has been many years since that was the case.
Fianna Fáil’s Donagh Killelea paid tribute to outgoing TDs Colm Keaveney and Paul Connaughton saying they had been very helpful to councillors during their tenure. He remarked ‘There must be good water in Belclare to have produced three TDs!’
Party colleague Martina Kinane said it was a wonderful thing that the two Galway constituencies had elected three women to the Dail. “I believe this means that Galway now has more balanced representation. I hope that our TDs won’t forget our main issues here and that is funding for roads and housing.”
Sinn Féin’s Dermot Connolly said two ‘fantastic’ councillors had now become TDs and he was sure they would serve their constituents well. “They will bring their experience from the council to Leinster House. They know the workings of local government well and the problems we are encountering.”
Independent councillor Tom Welby said he was looking forward to the make-up of the next government, in the hope that it would shake-up the political landscape.
Both deputies were in attendance at the meeting and were afforded the opportunity to address the chamber. Sean Canney paid tribute to his former colleagues for their support and singled out Councillors Des Joyce, Tom Welby, and Timmy Broderick for praise. He said he was looking forward to his new role with renewed vigour to serve rural Ireland. “Every TD that has been elected has been given a job to do. There is a responsibility to form a strong, reliable, sustainable Government and hopefully that will happen. There is also a responsibility on us to serve the people who have elected us and I look forward to the days, weeks, and months ahead working on your behalf.”
Deputy Rabbitte paid tribute to council staff for the professional manner in which the count centre in New Inn was operated. She promised to do her best to endeavour to get funding for the county, acknowledging the ongoing shortage of funding for roads and housing.