SPEAKING before her term as Mayor of Shannon ended this week, Mary Brennan said she had an enjoyable and busy year as the town’s first citizen.
“It was my honour to have been mayor of Shannon for the last year, I never realised how busy that role was and really appreciate all the help and support I received from all members of our town council, our town clerk and town manager,” she commented.
The outgoing mayor said while it is a difficult time, there is some cause for optimism.
“I realise Shannon is struggling and we had our share of job losses but we also have hope for the future with the Transaero takeover of Air Atlantic and new shops opening in our town centre, which hopefully will bring in more people and an increase in business to those already in existence. It is very important that we as a town shop locally and support all those who have invested to try to make Shannon Town Centre a better place to shop.
“We also had changes in our airport and hopefully these changes will mean our airport will flourish once again and bring more flights and business locally. It was great to represent Shannon Town at events such as the green flag days at St Tola’s school and St Conaire’s, going to the Dáil for a most enjoyable day out with children from St Senan’s, the senior citizens dinner dance, meeting adults and children with special needs, the Shannon musical, many events in the GAA club, Shannon Knights and the Oakwood Arms.”
She said she is proud to be a member of the Shannon community. “We have a lot of people within our community involved in sporting and voluntary organisations, who the town council recognised with awards and merits. As mayor, I got to meet many people from many walks of life. I travelled to America proud to represent Shannon and encouraged people to come here and see our country.
“I met President Higgins, politicians from all parties, business people investing in our town, members of the FAI, many visitors who came to Shannon and the people of Shannon, who I met on a regular basis and I am proud to be one of them.
“We had the mayor’s ball in aid of Shannon and District Lions Club and at it a presentation was made to Jimmy Rocks for his involvement in business and sport. It was a great night. The main thing I have learned in the last year is how important community is and how great it is to be part of one. I really enjoyed it all.”
Council officials and her fellow councillors paid tribute to her year as mayor at Tuesday’s town council meeting.
“You have carried out your role and functions in a dignified and capable manner,” said Labour party councillor Tony McMahon.
Fine Gael’s Sean McLoughlin said Councillor Brennan did a “wonderful job”, both at home and abroad.
Councillor Greg Duff compared the council chamber to a school, noting “a lot of the pupils can misbehave” but said Councillor Brennan managed to negotiate all of the issues faced “with your personality and charisma”.
Town manager Bernadette Kinsella said Councillor Brennan had “a very busy and successful year” and acknowledged her courtesy to all council staff.
County manager Tom Coughlan said he had the pleasure of being at a number of events also attended by Councillor Brennan and said she had “carried the chain with dignity” and been an excellent representative for Shannon.