MICHAEL Fleming took over the office of Mayor of Shannon at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.
He was elected unopposed, after being nominated by his Fine Gael party colleague Sean McLoughlin and seconded by Independent Patricia McCarthy. Both of them referred to his performance when he filled in for Tony Mulcahy, when holding the office of deputy mayor.
He said he wanted to welcome county manager Tom Coughlan to the meeting and acknowledged the other councillors for electing him as the town’s first citizen. “It’s a great honour and I’m privileged to have it,” he said.
Mr Coughlan paid tribute to the new mayor. “We have had opportunities to meet in the past and they were all pleasant and I’m sure you will continue to operate like that.”
The county manager also said there is a need for partnership between council staff and elected members and he wanted to acknowledge the contribution of all the staff.
He said there is currently an opportunity for Shannon Airport to get back to “being the economic driver for the region” and said the county council will do all it can to make that happen. He also said the council has met with the chairs of the taskforces on the airport and will work with them.
Councillor Greg Duff said he had no doubt that Councillor Fleming’s year would be a great success, while Councillor Gerry Flynn said he should make the most of it.
“It’s a great honour for you and your family and the one piece of advice I would give you is to enjoy it because it’s a fantastic honour.”
Another former mayor of the town shared this view. “It does pass fast and it’s a great honour to be mayor of your town and you’ll do it your way,” said Councillor Sean McLoughlin.
Councillor Patricia McCarthy was elected deputy mayor. She was nominated by Councillor Vincent Coleman, who said she has been “an excellent servant” and she was seconded by Councillor Mary Brennan.