THE new Cathaoirleach of the Killaloe Municipal District has outlined his priorities for year ahead, saying now is the time for delivery, and that representatives must “have their hands up” for funding from national government.
Councillor Pat Hayes took over from Councillor Pat Burke of Whitegate who held the role for two consecutive terms. The Caher-based representative was nominated by Fianna Fáil colleagues Councillor Alan O’Callaghan and Councillor Tony O’Brien.
At the district AGM, Councillor Hayes thanked Councillor Burke for his work. “We are fairly unique in Killaloe for our positive working relationship,” he noted. “The parties are all in government together and we’re working together in Clare for the greater good.”
He also outlined his priorities for the year ahead, including projects like the Killaloe Bypass and Inis Cealtra. “We have many plans in the pipeline in this district,” he noted. “What I want to see now is delivery.” Councillor Hayes noted that boundary changes had brought a number of other projects into the district. “The proposed Northern Distributor Road for Limerick will increase connectivity and the Strategic Development Zone, close by, is now within our boundary.” The Fianna Fáil member also listed the development of tourism services in East Clare as among his priority projects. “People have been walking much more during lockdown and there is a real opportunity now to promote routes like the East Clare Way. We must keep Cragganowen and Knappogue Castle to the fore, because their closure is hurting tourism. I want the Killaloe District to get is share from the funding pot. We must have our hands up for funding at national level.”
Handing over the cathaoirleach’s chair, Councillor Burke thanked officials and colleagues for their support. “There are exciting times ahead for the district,” he said. “The Inis Cealtra project is progressing and I can assure people there is a lot going on behind the scenes. I have an assurance too from the Taoiseach that the Killaloe Bypass will proceeded. I wanted that before I voted for the Programme for Government.” The Fine Gael member also listed social housing developments for Tulla and Scariff, as well as the proposed Carrownagowan Wind Farm, as significant projects for East Clare. “This week, works are beginning on a footpath all the way from Killaloe, through Ogonelloe to Tuamgraney and that’s a welcome boost for tourism,” he noted.
The new Leas Cathaoirleach of the Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor Joe Cooney of Fine Gael thanked the outgoing chairperson for his service and wished the new Cathaoirleach well. “It is very important that we work together,” he said.
Senior Executive Officer Morgan Lahiffe thanked Councillor Burke and said officials were looking forward to working with Councillor Hayes, as did Senior Executive Engineer, Tom Mellett.
Director of Services Ann Haugh thanked Councillor Burke, saying he was “very balanced in the role” and was able to see things from both sides. She congratulated Councillor Hayes on his new role. “I have no doubt but that you’ll keep us on our toes,” she said.