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Clare Colleran Molloy. Photograph by John Kelly

Clare reaffirms dedication to business in the Banner

AT last week’s AGM of Ennis Municipal District, Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy (FF) was elected mayor, an office she is to hold for the third time in ten years. Councillor Antoinette Baker Bashua (FF) was elected deputy mayor.
After her election councillor Colleran Molloy paid tribute to her fellow councillors. “Thanks to my colleagues for this nomination, especially for the proposal from my party colleague, newly elected Councillor Antoinette Baker Bashua. I wish to extend congratulations to you all, especially to newly elected Councillors Tommy Guilfoyle and Antoinette Baker Bashua. With Antoinette’s election, I am delighted that we have maintained three female councillors in Ennis,” she said.
“To Councillor Tom O’Callaghan, congratulations on being elected for the first time further to your co-option in late 2022 to former councillor Mark Nestor’s seat.
“I wish to heartily congratulate councillors Mary Howard and Paul Murphy on your successful return in light of the particular challenges experienced by us.
“Finally, may I congratulate councillor Pat Daly on his 25 years of service and on his recent appointment as Chair of Economic Development and Planning Strategic Policy Committee.
“Pat, I am confident that your long service and achievements will bring a wisdom, determination and energy to this prominent position to strive for greater economic and spatial development in our county and our county town.”
Speaking about her election campaign, she said, “I began my campaign in Kilnamona on March 8 last, a cold grey Saturday. I remember vividly the engagement at the second door on that first day. I was with Nicholas Rynne,who is here today.
“The gentleman at the door actually thanked me for coming to the door to ask for a vote.
“He was of course referencing the fragility of democracy and the hard work, both by the candidates and the voters, that is required to preserve it.
“In contrast, I recall another voter during the campaign, who commented that ‘it must be awful to have to beg for votes’ which I found unfortunate phrasing. I believe that it is the ‘ask for the vote’ that is both a privilege for a candidate and a hard-fought right for the individual, most particularly, as we know, for women.”
She praised two of the younger campaigners who helped her bid for re-election.
“It is said that ‘happiness comes in small things’. The happier times that I can recall of my gruelling re-election campaign were my interactions with and questioning from two of my younger canvassers – 16-year-old Grace Hanley, and my grand-niece 15-year-old Zoe Colleran – two young women who I believe have been energised and motivated to understand and appreciate how our society gets to have its say every five years in this, our democratic republic,” she said.
“In fact, I can foresee either or both of these young ladies being involved in future public representation and attaining elected office.”
Reflecting on the democratic process, Councillor Colleran Molloy added, “It is often said that women in politics have to work ten times harder than their male counterparts to achieve the same standing, and that has certainly been my experience.
“As female political leaders we have a responsibility to change that, to use our voices and our position to support one another and to foster a more inclusive and equitable culture within our communities.
“The whole process of Irish democracy starts at the local level-it really is democracy in its truest form where the personal vote is hugely important-people vote for you because they like you, and like what you stand for, as well as the work you have done, and the causes you have championed.
“Now that we stand elected, the people rightfully expect action based on democratic consensus.
“The public expect their representatives to collaborate to develop democratic consensus, mindful that a consensus decision does not mean that everyone agrees on all the details or that some have changed their ideas or perspectives changed.”
She said that some of the things she is looking forward to for the town are the upgraded public realm with new civic spaces The Cathedral Plaza and Barrack Square, the public town bus service, the new public library, the Ennis Local transport plan and local area plan, and active travel projects, including ones on the Tulla Road and the Clare Road.
Councillor Colleran Molloy also praised the staff of the Ennis Municipal District for the work that they do.

Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

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