New Cathaoirligh for municipal districts

Cllr John Duffy (FG) has been selected as Cathaoirleach of the Granard Municipal District, while Mae Sexton (Ind) and Mick Cahill (FF) will take up the roles of Cathaoirligh of the Longford and Ballymahon Municipal Districts respectively.
Longford’s three municipal districts selected their Cathaoirligh in a series of meetings on Monday afternoon.

Longford’s three municipal districts selected their Cathaoirligh in a series of meetings on Monday afternoon.

The new administrative divisions selected the trio of councillors to lead them for the next year following a negation process held outside the chamber.

Cllr John Duffy (FG) was chosen as Granard Municipal District Cathaoirleach, while Cllrs Mae Sexton (Ind) and Cllr Mick Cahill (FF) were selected to preside over the Longford and Ballymahon Municipal Districts.

The newly elected chairs all outlined their priorities for the coming year with the council’s roads budget, parking and economic recovery all topping the agenda.

Newly appointed CEO, Tim Caffrey outlined to each of the meetings how the new structure would be administered.

Mr Caffrey said that the new authority would present opportunities and challenges in equal measure.

“This is new for everyone, and like anything new there will be challenges ahead. The work that you councillors put in will determine the effectiveness of the Municipal Authorities. These are decision making authorities with real power.”

Both the Ballymahon and Granard councillors will meet bi-monthly, with the Longford councillors meeting monthly.

Councillors stressed that special meetings could be called in the event of emergency situations despite being told budgets already signed off on for the remainder of the year would stand.

Director of Services Jack Kilgallon accepted the new arrangements would require some getting used to.

He said a good illustration of this was the manner in which roads funding was likely to be distributed.

Mr Kilgallon said if the budget was assigned on population north Longford would lose out, but if it was done on road mileage Mid Longford would suffer.

As such, he said the new set-up required a careful “balancing act”.

The meetings also culminated in each municipal district being given a designated local authority manager.

They were Jack Kilgallon (Granard), Frank Sheridan (Longford) with the council’s Head of Finance Barry Lynch overseeing the Ballymahon Municipal District.