Christmas Q&A: Cllr's big hope is for peace in 2024

Cllr Louise Heavin was elected as the first Green Mayor of the Athlone-Moate Municipal District at its AGM last June.

The architect and mother-of-two is the only female among the nine elected members of the district, and the need for more women in politics was one of the topics she underlined after receiving the Mayoral chain.

For her, the Christmas season is all about kindness, compassion and goodwill, slowing down and celebrating with family and the community.

What is the build-up to Christmas like for you?

It's usually a very exciting time. Myself, Ed and the two children enjoy all the family activities that go on in December. This year we have Christmas lights, a school concert and a visit to Santa's grotto.

How and where will you spend Christmas this year?

This year will be the first year we'll spend Christmas in our house, which is really special. We have invited my family around and we'll be doing a traditional roast and playing lots of games.

What does the Christmas season mean to you?

The Christian values we celebrate as fairly universal; kindness, compassion and goodwill. For me, it's a collective slow down where we all reflect on what is important and celebrate our family and community.

Who is your Christmas hero?

The robin. You'll see him around your garden working very hard during the winter months. Don't forget to put out some food!

What are thankful for this year?

This year has been personally tough as I am closing my business and have started a new job. I am thankful for the support I have received from my husband Ed, my family, friends and neighbours through this time.

What's your favourite Christmas memory from times past?

My dad was a bit of a prankster. He once pretended he forgot to order the turkey and turned up with two chickens. To this day the memory still makes me laugh.

What's your best loved Christmas tradition?

Myself and my school friends from Moate usually have a get together. It's always a nice gathering.

Favourite Christmas song or movie?

The snow man (song and movie). I used to play it in the school orchestra so it always brings fond memories.

How will you ring in the New Year?

I think it will be in my Mum's house.

What's your big hope for 2024?