4 February 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Ballybay Town Council marked its 140th anniversary at a special presentation in the Wetlands Centre, Ballybay last Friday night, where the present threat to abolish town councils was a recurring theme throughout the evening. Speaker after speaker called for a strong campaign against any such move and sought to emphasise the importance of retaining smaller local authorities in order to keep democracy alive and well at a local level.
At an event where passionate arguments for the retention of smaller authorities like Ballybay Town Council itself were advanced, it was perhaps fitting that those in attendance included Philomena Roche, the President of the Association of Municipal Authorities of Ireland, the AMAI’s Director General Tom Ryan and the Local Authority Members Association (LAMA) Chairperson, Monaghan’s own Hughie McElvaney, as well as Mayor of Ballybay Michael Smyth, Mayor of Castleblayney David Funcheon and Mayor of County Monaghan Jackie Crowe.
Oireachtas members Dr Rory O’Hanlon TD, Margaret Conlon TD, Seymour Crawford TD and Senator Francie O’Brien were also at the event.
The gathering was welcomed by Gerry Traynor of Ballybay Town Council who acted as MC for the occasion. He noted that Ballybay Town Commission, the predecessor to the Town Council, held its first meeting on 2nd January 1871, and that its first Chairman was Hugh W Rogers, a local bank manager.
This was an evening in which the present council would recognise those who had gone before them, Cllr Traynor stated, including former councillors, commissioners, town clerks, council staff and everyone connected with the local authority in Ballybay. On that note, he called Michael Smyth, the Mayor of Ballybay as the first speaker on the night.
Following a blessing by Monsignor Gerard McSorley in which all who were associated with the council through its long history and had since passed on were remembered — including Cllr Noel Duffy who died last October — Mayor Smyth said it was a great honour for him to represent the council and all its members at this 140th anniversary celebration.
Full report in The Northern Standard

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