There was an emotional twist to proceedings during last week’s final monthly meeting - as we know it - of Longford Co Council.
Five longstanding members of the local authority are retiring from the local political arena after many years of service.
Those retiring include: County Mayor, Cllr Larry Bannon (FG), Cllr Victor Kiernan (FG), Cllr Gerry Brady (FG), Cllr Denis Glennon (FF) and Cllr Barney Steele (FF) and it was Cllr Frank Kilbride who got the tributes off to a flying start.
Upon the conclusion of his mayorship, Cllr Bannon was presented with a photo collage of his year in office. Cllr Kilbride stated: “You were a very fair mayor and you did this county proud during your term.
“You will be missed and I hope you have a long, healthy and happy retirement.”
Cllr Kilbride then went on to pay tribute to the other retiring players on the political field.
“Cllr Victor Kiernan - you are a man of few words, but when you did speak, what you said counted; perhaps we could all learn a thing or two from you,” he laughed.
“Cllr Gerry Brady you were a great local politician and a great help to me and I want to thank you for everything that you have done for your area and for this country.
Cllr Kilbride also paid tribute to Cllr Steele and Cllr Glennon, both of whom he said, had offered “great advice and support” to him when he started out out his own local political journey.
Cllr Martin Mulleady (FF) also paid tribute to his retiring colleagues but not before engaging in a slight disagreement with Cllr Brady and adding: “Look Gerry, I’m not going to fight with you on your last day”.
Cllr Mulleady said that both he and Cllr Brady had worked very well together for the people of their area and he thanked the retiring politicians for all his help and support over the years.
In conclusion, Co Manager Tim Caffrey said that all the retirees who stood before him were of the highest calibre and their presence on the next local authority would be missed.
“I wish you all the best and I hope ye you have a long, healthy and happy retirement,” he concluded.
This wasthe final meeting of the current Longford County Council before the local elections. When the council returns, it will comprise of 18 members, three fewer than the current council of 21.