Fine Gael county councillor Cyril Burke from Ballyglass, Castlebar, has been elected unopposed as the new Cathaoirleach of the Border, Midland and Western Regional Assembly at its annual general meeting.
Councillor Burke was first co opted on to Mayo County Council in 2003 for the Castlebar electoral area to fill the seat vacated by his brother Senator Paddy Burke. Cllr Burke has been a member of the BMW Regional Assembly and the West Regional Authority since 2004. Cllr Burke is PRO of LAMA since 2009 and a member of the Cultural and Educational SPC of Mayo County Council since 2009. He is actively involved with a number of community groups in Mayo. Cllr James Deegan from Laois was elected Leas Cathaoirleach.
In accepting the position, Cllr Burke said that he was both honoured and privileged to be elected Cathaoirleach of the Assembly. He informed the meeting that he would work to promote the whole BMW Region and ensure that the region’s resources were fully exploited, including the talents of its young educated labour force. He stated that the BMW region had valuable wind, wave, and ocean resources and that the enabling infrastructure should be put in place to exploit these. Cllr Burke acknowledged that these were challenging times but stressed that he had confidence in the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the Government to lead the country through the challenges that lay ahead.
Cllr Burke thanked the members for their unanimous support. He acknowledged the outgoing cathaoirleach Cllr Joe Flanagan for the wonderful job he had done over the past year and for his chairing of meetings with firmness and fairness. He also thanked the outgoing leas cathaoirleach Cllr Aiden Boyle.
Gerry Finn, director of the Border, Midland and Western Regional Assembly, congratulated Cllr Burke on his appointment and stated that he looked forward to working with him over the coming year. He also paid tribute to the outgoing cathaoirleach Cllr Joe Flanagan for the effective way in which he discharged his duties over his term as cathaoirleach, and to Cllr Aiden Boyle who acted as leas cathaoirleach for the past year.