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Crowe takes reins from McMahon to steer MD


SIXMILEBRIDGE’S John Crowe has been elected Cathaoirleach of the Shannon Municipal District for the coming year, with Michael Begley elected deputy.
The position means he will chair meetings of Shannon area councillors, while he will also represent the area at certain events.
Councillor Crowe was elected last Friday evening, succeeding Newmarket’s Pat McMahon.
At the meeting Councillor McMahon said he had only worn the chain of office a couple of times, due to the country being in lockdown for so long.
He described the last 12 months as “a most eventful year”, which will be remembered throughout history.
The Fianna Fáil representative said he was concerned about the economic fallout, which may become more apparent in the months to come. 
He warned that Shannon Airport is in trouble, and noted that its board hasn’t had a chairperson for many months. “It wouldn’t happen in Dublin Airport,” he added.
Councillor McMahon said that Shannon has lost two CEOs in recent years, while he said that one of them, who he didn’t name but was clearly Matthew Thomas, “couldn’t see a future”.
He said he was concerned that Shannon could be “almost an afterthought” when policy on aviation is being made.
Councillor MCMahon also expressed concern that no real positive plan has been in place for Shannon for many years now.
He paid tribute to the local media, saying they report fairly and accurately. “The term fake news can never be attributed to our press. They report it as it is,” he said.
After being elected Councillor Crowe said his colleague “has a very, very hard act to follow”.
He described his predecessor as “a great man and a character”, while he paid tribute to his sense of humour. Councillor Crowe also said the Newmarket man was “a steadying hand, who can always see the wider picture”.
He said that there has been very good co-operation between workers and the Council executive in the Shannon area.
On the significance of the Municipal District, he said while the area isn’t massive, it has an airport, a significant industrial area and one of the county’s leading tourist attractions in Bunratty.
Taking up a point made by Councillor McMahon, Councillor Gerry Flynn said that Ireland has sold off its former national carrier, and while other countries have invested in theirs to preserve jobs and connectivity, this option isn’t available here. He noted that there may be tough times ahead for Shannon.
A number of the other members paid tribute to Councillor McMahon and wished Councillor Crowe well for the year to come.

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.