Cross-party co-operation saw Fine Gael councillor, Andrew Duncan, selected as the new mayor for Mullingar Municipal District, with Fianna Fáil councillor Bill Collentine taking up the role of deputy major, both selections having been made unanimously.
Cllr Duncan was proposed by party colleague Cllr Frank McDermott, and seconded by Fianna Fáil’s Cllr Ken Glynn, while for Cllr Collentine, proposal came from his Fianna Fáil colleague Cllr Glynn, and the seconding vote was from Fine Gael’s Cllr McDermott.
Cllr John Shaw was effusive in his thanks to his council colleagues and to the council staff for their co-operation with him, and he thanked the press for their coverage of Westmeath County Council affairs.
“It was a very enjoyable year,” Cllr Shaw said, adding that he couldn’t believe it had gone by so quickly.
He extended particular thanks to council officials Martin Murray, Declan Leonard, Kitty Foyle and Caroline Byrne for being, he said, “a great source of wisdom and help”.
He also spoke of his delight at the MMD having held its May meeting at Rochfortbridge, and he extended thanks to the groups with which he has had dealings over the year.
He also had warm words of praise for Cllr Emily Wallace, who had been deputy mayor for the previous year.
Colleagues extended thanks to Cllr Shaw for his work. Cllr Glynn commended him for his fairness and efficiency, and Cllr McDermott remarked that it had been an honour to serve with him, and said he had represented the county with distinction.
Cllr Johnnie Penrose extended thanks to Cllr Shaw for the courtesy he had shown members.
On behalf of the council staff, Martin Murray thanked Cllr Shaw and said the council staff were appreciative of his works and his effective and efficient means of dealing with business.
Cllr Andrew Duncan said that if he did his job half as well as Cllr Shaw had done, in a balanced and fair manner, he would be more than happy.
Cllr Bill Collentine accepting the role of deputy mayor said it would be an honour.