Sinn Fein Cllr Cora Harvey is the new Mayor of Donegal, with party colleague Cllr Padraig Mac Lochlainn elected as her Deputy. She becomes the first Sinn Fein member to take the chair in Donegal since 1923.
She defeated Cllr Ciaran Brogan by 18 votes to 11, with Independent Cllr Seamus O’Domhnail supporting Cllr Brogan, and the other independents supporting Cllr Harvey. Cllr Brogan was proposed by Cllr Dessie Larkin, who challenged Sinn Fein and Labour to fulfill the contract they signed last year. He stressed the budget was not part of the agreement.
A large number of supporters gathered in the chamber for the AGM, including Strabane Council Chair Michaela Boyle and West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty.
Cllr Harvey says she wants her term to see an end to the infighting, and a new focus on moving Donegal forward. While she is less than two years on the council after her cooption in 2008, she says her election last year gave her a strong mandate, and she’s ready for the challenge……
As outgoing Mayor Brendan Byrne vacated the chair, a number of Fianna Fail members spoke of the way he was treated during the year, particularly in the wake of December’s controversial budget meeting.
However, speaking to Highland Radio News after he steped down, Cllr Byrne rejected suggestions that his term was defined by the budget meeting. He said for him, the highlight of his year was last Monday’s civic commemoration for the late Garda Robert Mc Callion, and much was achieved during the past twelve months.
He says he sought political office, but his family didn’t, and his one regret is that things were said a times which hurt his wife and daughter. Apart from that, Cllr Byrne says, he proudly stands over over his term……..
Full report from meeting