15 June 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Cianna McNally

Tributes were paid at Monday afternoon’s meeting of Carrickmacross Town Council to outgoing Mayor of the town, Sinn Féin’s Noel Keelan.
Before handing over the chain of office to incoming Mayor Darcy Lonergan, Councillor Keelan said that his year representing the people of Carrickmacross had been an honour and a privilege.
The role had been challenging at times but he was thankful for the opportunity and hoped that he had been fair to the councillors at their meetings.
Cllr Keelan thanked his colleagues on Carrickmacross Town Council for their support and acknowledged the co-operation and assistance received from Town Manager Paul Clifford, Town Engineer Alan Hall and the town council staff.
There had been many highlights during Cllr Keelan’s year as Mayor including the opening of the Carrickmacross Recyling Centre and the reinstatement of a number of roads in the town.
The allocation and completion of a number of houses in Cloughvalley was to be commended but Cllr Keelan felt more were needed in the area.
The community and voluntary sector in Carrickmacross came in for high praise from the outgoing Mayor.
The organising committee behind the annual Carrickmacross Festival, which celebrated its twelfth year recently, was commended on another successful festival weekend that both the town and its traders benefitted greatly from.
Similarly, Féile Patrick Byrne had been a huge success and Cllr Keelan wished it well in the future.
The North East Cycle Challenge which had been organised by the Carrickmacross Lions Club and in which the outgoing Mayor had participated had also been very successful and the Lions Club was to be commended.
The opening of the Carrickmacross Allotments was also a proud day for the town and Cllr Keelan praised all involved in that project.
There were also numerous other voluntary and community groups and organisations commended for their work in Carrickmacross including the Tidy Towns group, the Mental Health Association and St Vincent de Paul. The local media was also thanked for the coverage given to meetings and events in the town.
Carrickmacross Chamber of Commerce played a very active role in the promotion of the town and the many activities it organised including the recent walking tour of Carrickmacross were praised by the outgoing Mayor.
Cllr Keelan acknowledged the efforts of his colleagues on Carrickmacross Town Council to ensure that there was a zero percent increase in rates in the town for the last five years.
The separate visits to Carrickmacross by the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, Loyola Hearn and the Australian Ambassador to Ireland, Bruce Davis had provided ideal opportunities to promote the town, which the outgoing Mayor felt had been ably done.
Looking towards the future, Cllr Keelan said that since Market Square was now owned by the town council, it had the capacity to be developed to become a showpiece for the town.
The impressive new civic building where Carrickmacross Town Council meet once a month was highly praised as a wonderful “one-stop-shop.”
Cllr Keelan commented that the membership of Carrickmacross Branch Library, which is located in the civic building, had risen considerably which was to be commended.
Carrickmacross was very well placed, in Cllr Keelan’s opinion, to attract industry as its water and sewage collection network was “state-of-the-art” and it also had good roads both into and out of the town.
The outgoing Mayor concluded by thanking the people of Carrickmacross for the courtesy and kindness shown to him during what had been a busy and challenging year.

Fianna Fáil councillor P.J O’Hanlon complimented the outgoing Mayor stating that he had worked hard and been a very good ambassador for the town.
Cllr Keelan’s party colleague Matt Carthy commended the outgoing Mayor on the way he had represented the town council and added that Cllr Keelan’s late mother would have been very proud of her son.
Cllr Padraig McNally felt that Cllr Keelan had had an excellent year. The role of Mayor of a town was a busy one but Cllr Keelan had performed very well.
The remaining members of Carrickmacross Town Council associated with the comments made to the outgoing Mayor and on behalf of the town council staff, Town Manager Paul Clifford congratulated Cllr Keelan on his year in the chair and said that he had worked well and raised the profile of the town.

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