Holmes becomes first cathaoirleach of a Municipal District in Mayo

Mulranny based Independent Cllr Michael Holmes was elected the first cathaoirleach of one of the new Municipal Districts, when he won a vote to take the chair of the of the area by four votes to two, with one member abstaining from the vote.

Cllr Holmes was proposed for the position by fellow Independent Cllr Christy Hyland and seconded by Fianna Fáil Cllr Paul McNamara. Fine Gael Cllr Gerry Coyle proposed his colleague Cllr Theresa McGuire for the chair, but with Cllr McNamara, Cllr Hyland, Cllr Brendan Mulroy and Cllr Holmes all supporting Cllr Holmes’ nomination he won the vote 4-2 with Sinn Féin’s Cllr Rose Conway Walsh abstaining from the vote.

Cllr Conway-Walsh explaining her abstention from the vote said that she wasn’t interested in chains or chairs and the outcome of this decision was predetermined by the deal agreed last week by Fianna Fáil and independents to control Mayo County Council. She said that she would have preferred if the council had used the D’Hondt system for these types of decisions, which is used in the Northern Irish assembly.

However, Fianna Fáil Cllr Brendan Mulroy told the meeting that the deal worked out for Mayo County Council did not apply for the West Mayo Municipal District and it was a separate agreement, that was agreed by Fianna Fáil and the Independent councillors. He said that no-one from Fine Gael or Sinn Fein approached them about an agreement for the West Mayo Municipal District. Independent Cllr Christy Hyland was elected as leas cathaoirleach of the district unopposed.

The new authority set out their schedule of meetings this week agreeing to meet on the last Monday of every month at 4pm, the start time of the meeting took some time to tease out as some councillors preferred a later start time. It was also decided that the meetings would alternate between Westport and Belmullet throughout the year and bringing meetings to other areas in the district would also be considered during the year.


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