Independent Ballina councillor Peter Clarke followed in the footsteps of his late father and grandfather when he took the mayor’s chain in Ballina Town Council on Wednesday night. Clarke who was first elected in 2004 took over the stewardship of the council from outgoing mayor Frances McAndrew after he was nominated unopposed for the position for the coming year.
After taking the chain of office Clarke said: “This is a very proud day for me and my family, when I think back to the first day I came into this chamber in 2004 and saw the pictures of my late father and grandfather up on the wall it gave me great inspiration to serve the people of Ballina. That is what I aim to do in my year in office, is represent the people of Ballina to the very best that I can.”
Clarke went on to pay tribute to his mother and his aunt Loretta (who was in the chamber ) for helping and guiding him over the past number of years since he was elected. He also thanked the members of both the Fine Gael and the Fianna Fáil parties in the chamber for supporting his nomination and the other Independent members, and promised to be fair and balanced as he dealt with the business of the meetings in the coming year.
Fianna Fáil councillor Willie Nolan was elected as the deputy mayor for the year. Outgoing mayor Cllr Frances McAndrew in her outgoing speech thanked all the members and the staff of the council for their assistance over the past 12 months and outlined a number of her highlights of the past year, including the official opening of the arts centre and St Dympna’s and St Nicholas schools. She also spoke about her pride at the successful Mayor’s charity ball which raised €9,200 for charity this year. She concluded her remarks by saying, “I have been privileged and honoured to wear the mayor’s chain over the past year and have really enjoyed it both home and away.”