Party politics should remain outside the doors of Granard Town Council, according to its newly inducted Mayor, Cllr PJ Reilly.
The Fianna Fail dual representative said the urban local authority was too small for political sidestepping to become part of its everyday make-up.
Instead, Cllr Reilly has set his sights on ensuring the council enhances its relationship with various steering groups such as the town’s Chamber of Commerce during the course of his 12 month stint as Granard Mayor.
“I do think the town council is too small to be playing national politics,” he remarked. “That sort of thing I think is no good for the town or its community,” adding he intended to keep tabs on any potential thorny issues that may, or may not arise at its town council meetings.
Breaking into a fit of laughter, Cllr Reilly joked when asked if he would facilitate lively debate for the benefit of news hungry journalists: “No, I will be doing my best to keep things under control.”
As well as the town’s chamber of commerce, Cllr Reilly said organisations such as the Granard Area Action Group, local Higginstown Sports Group and Tidy Towns bodies represented the very lifeblood of community spirit in Granard.
It’s an ethos the cordial Abbeylara man believes could boost the chances of keeping modest sized local authorities like Granard from projected closure, as outlined in the 2009 McCarthy Report.
And like those before him, the new Mayor has set his sights on a raft of targets over the next 12 months.
“I would like to see work on the Teemore Estate getting started which I am hoping will be the case over the next few weeks. I have also got a commitment from the county manager (Tim Caffrey) that work will also be carried out a public road to the rear of the development which will alleviate parking on Main Street,” he said, before hinting at possible financial progress being made concerning the redevelopment of the town’s Trumra Road.
Also included in his busy, yet clearly defined set of Mayoral objectives are the refurbishment of Granard Town Hall alongside establishing greater public access to the north Longford town’s historic motte settlement.
Those series of plans are for the future. For the moment, Cllr Reilly is quite content to bask in the honour of his recent elevation and heap praise on the man-Cllr Sean Howard- he succeeded as Granard Town Mayor.
“I am deeply honoured and I want to thank all of the town councillors for placing their trust in me. Sean has been and still is a great servant to this town. He even taught me at school. I know it hasn’t been easy for him in recent months when he fell ill, but it is great to see him making such a great recovery,” he added.