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McLoughlin seeks county council seat

WITH the election of Tony Mulcahy to the Seanad, opportunity may be about to knock for Sean McLoughlin.
Councillor McLoughlin was heavily involved with his party colleague’s bids for election to both the Dáil and the Seanad. Now, with Senator Mulcahy going to the upper house, he may take his seat on Clare County Council.
The abolition of the so-called dual mandate some years ago means that a member of the Oireachtas cannot sit on a county council or a town council and so Fine Gael will co-opt new members.
Following Mulcahy’s election, McLoughlin threw his hat into the ring. In a statement, the two-time Mayor of Shannon congratulated the new Senator and announced his interest in taking the county council seat.
“Seventeen years ago in Shannon the Fine Gael branch reformed. I was proud to be a member of that group. That branch has performed well, subsequently ensuring a greater vote and representation for the party in all elections. This success has culminated in the election of Tony Mulcahy as the first Oireachtas member from Shannon.
“In recent days I have received the unanimous support of all the Shannon branch members that I have met. This coupled with numerous calls has encouraged me to put my name forward to succeed Tony in Clare County Council. I believe that my seven years’ experience on Shannon Town Council, along with my two successful terms as Mayor of Shannon more than qualify me to fill this position. I would see this as a great honour for myself, my family and my supporters. I will assure the people of Clare that I will work tirelessly on their behalf.”
He said people in the town feel another Shannon representative should take over. “There is a feeling in Shannon that Tony had been elected to represent the town and because of that, I decided to put my hat in the ring.”
He said he is fairly confident he will be successful, and that the final decision will be made by 84 party members from the Shannon Electoral Area.
Councillor McLoughlin came to prominence in 2007, when shortly after being elected as Mayor of Shannon, Aer Lingus pulled its Shannon–Heathrow services. In the coming months, he was one of the major campaigning voices in seeking their restoration. He again served as mayor in 2009/10, before being succeeded by Tony Mulcahy.
A vacancy also exists for a town councillor following the election of the new senator.
This will be filled by the local Fine Gael branch, which has more than 20 members. It is understood that more than one person is interested in taking the seat and the membership is to meet early next week to make a decision.
The position of Mayor of Shannon has been taken over temporarily by Councillor Michael Fleming. Another mayor is set to be elected at next month’s town council meeting, but in turn they will only serve for a single month as the councillors will then elect another mayor for the next year.

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