It’s been a long wait - 100 years. But now Mountmellick Town Council has what is believed to be its first ever Labour chairman.
Pat Bowe was unanimously elevated to the position last Thursday evening. Fittingly, because this is the Labour Party’s centenary year.
First elected to the Town Council (then Town Commission) in 1985, Cllr Bowe is a former Independent. He won a County Council seat in 2009.
After receiving the chain of office from his predecessor, Sinn Fein’s Stephen Lynch, Cllr Bowe declared: “It’s an honour and privilege to be elected the First Citizen of Mountmellick.”
He pledged: “My priority would be to look after Mountmellick Hospital and to get a commitment for St Joseph’s ward to be reopened.”
He added: “My main commitment is to work together with my colleagues in the interests of the town.”
Elected Leas Cathaoirleach, also unanimously, was Fine Gael’s Rosemary Whelan who was proposed and seconded for the post by her party colleagues Cllrs Ollie Payne and Bobby Delaney. Paddy Bracken (FF) withdrew his name from the contest.
Cllr Whelan said she was sure the Council could achieve its aims if all members worked together.
It was Fianna Fail’s Cllrs Denis O’Mara and Bracken who respectively proposed and seconded Cllr Bowe for the chair.
Earlier, all Councillors had paid tribute to Cllr Lynch for the impartial way he had conducted proceedings during his year in office.