Councillor Mary Howard (Fine Gael) has been elected Mayor of Clare at the Annual General Meeting of Clare County Council last evening.
Cllr Howard succeeds Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy (Fianna Fáil) in the role. She said it was her great honour to stand before the Council as Mayor.
“2020 has already been a remarkable year for the world, for Ireland and, of course, for County Clare. Covid-19 brought us to our knees. We lost loved ones, we lost livelihoods, and we lost – for a time – our freedom to visit those we love – our families and friends.
“But what was not lost, and what shone like a guiding North Star, was our indomitable spirit, our willingness to volunteer and help others, and our overwhelming sense of community.
“This pandemic brought out the best in our towns and villages, but this is of no surprise. Throughout my life I have always been greatly impressed by the selflessness and altruism of the wonderful citizens of our county.”
Cllr Howard said that we have started to reopen and rebuild our communities – domestic, commercial and industrial.
“Repairing all of that damage, getting people back to work, reopening our county for business, along with building on the momentum that was with us, before the virus struck: this is now our challenge. It will not be an easy one, but the restoration of our communities will be a core tenet during my time as Cathaoirleach.”
Cllr Howard said that she will be guided by her principles and her heartfelt wish to see Clare as a destination for people to come and live, to work and enjoy: “Underlying all this will be my desire to see Clare County Council support its citizens and rebuild our communities in a sustainable way that is resilient, and addresses issues such as climate change, inclusive communities and mutual respect.”
The outgoing Mayor of Clare, Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy, said that she had been privileged to be Cathaoirleach. She said that when she accepted the role on February 17th last, “little did any of us know, what havoc and change was pummelling towards us all.”
Cllr Colleran Molloy added: “As the Cathaoirleach during this Covid-19 pandemic, I wish to especially commend and thank the Chief Executive and management on the excellent work undertaken to ensure continued essential services to the people of Clare by our excellent Council staff, and for the leadership exhibited in the Covid-19 Community Response Forum, which successfully facilitated the huge volunteer efforts to ameliorate the situation for the vulnerable in our community.”
Cllr Pat Burke (Fine Gael) has been elected Leas Cathaoirleach.