Donegal county councillors congratulated their colleagues who were elected to the Dáil this weekend before the start yesterday of February’s adjourned meeting.
Donegal Mayor, Sinn Féin Cllr. Cora Harvey, said she wanted to offer special congratulations to Sinn Féin Cllr. Pádraig MacLochlainn, Fianna Fáil Cllr. Charlie McConalogue and independent Cllr. Thomas Pringle, who were elected in the General Election, as well as the other elected TDs. The mayor also acknowledged outgoing Fianna Fáil TDs, Tánaiste Mary Coughlan and former TDs Niall Blaney and James McDaid and wished them well.
The mayor and councillors also commended the staff of the county council who worked on the election counts on the weekend.
Fine Gael Cllr. Terence Slowey congratulated everyone who was elected but especially the three county councillors. “Three heavyweights we’re sending to Dublin,” he said.
Independent candidate and Cllr. Ian McGarvey also congratulated the newly elected members of the Dáil and said it was a difficult time for those who lost their seats. “In the game we’re in, it isn’t easy,” he said. “There are difficult times ahead and I don’t envy those who got elected.”
Labour candidate and Cllr. Frank McBrearty Jnr. concurred with the mayor’s remarks and offered special congratulations to “my friend and colleague Pádraig MacLochlainn. I think he was my strongest ally in here and I’ll miss him.”
Sinn Féin Cllr. Marie-Therese Gallagher offered congratulations to the councillors who took a seat in the election, and said, “The hard work starts here. From this county a lot of representations need to be made and I hope we will work together when it comes down to the county.”
Fianna Fáil Cllr. Brendan Byrne paid tribute to the successful candidates, saying there were challenges facing the country, “and knowing the three of them as well as I do, they’ll face up to that challenge”.
County Manager Seamus Neely acknowledged the efforts made by all candidates and added his congratulations to the councillors who were elected. “No doubt they will help us with the tasks we face in the months ahead,” he said.
Inishowen branches of Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin will each meet before the next meeting of the county council to select their party’s replacement for their outgoing councillor. Mr. Pringle has already announced that 31-year-old teacher John Campbell will take his seat on the council.
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