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New chair makes transport improvements top priority

Loughrea Municipal District’s new Cathaoirleach said improved transport for the area would top her list of priorities during her one-year term of office.

After being elected unopposed at the Loughrea MD AGM, Councillor Martina Kinane, from Clarinbridge, said a key priority for her was improving Local Link bus services and transport infrastructure.

Other issues she said she would champion while Cathaoirleach were reducing speed limits on the county’s roads and improving road safety.

Cllr Kinnane said she would also be pushing for wastewater treatment plants for Craughwell and Clarinbridge.

The Fianna Fáil Councillor, who was proposed by Fine Gael’s Michael ‘Moegie’ Maher, and seconded by her party colleague, Ivan Canning, said “everybody should leave politics at the door and work together for our communities”.

Cllr Kinane vowed to preside over “efficient effective meetings”, adding it was important, too, that “every voice is heard”. Cllr Canning said it was a huge honour for Cllr Kinane. “There’ll be no loss on you – we’ll support you in every way we can,” he added.

The MD’s only other woman representative, Cllr Geraldine Donohue (Ind) was elected unopposed to the position of Leas-Cathaoirleach, proposed by Cllr Gerry Finnerty (FF) and seconded by Cllr Maher.

Cllr Donohue said this was Cllr Kinane’s third term on the Council, and she said they had worked well together in the past.

Members paid tribute to the outgoing Cathaoirleach, Cllr Jimmy McClearn, ‘father of the Chamber’.

Independent Ireland Councillor Declan Kelly said Cllr McLearn had a “steady approach to the chair”, while Cllr Shane Curley (FF) said he was “always willing to give advice”.

Cllr Finnerty said, “you couldn’t get a fairer Cathaoirleach than Jimmy”.

Pictured: New Cathaoirleach Cllr Martina Kinane with her predecessor Cllr Jimmy McClearn.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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