4 July 2002 Edition
On June 25 2002, Councillor Anne O'Leary one of two Sinn Féin candidates who recently contested the Cork South West constituency, made an historic breakthrough in local politics by defeating Fianna Fáil nominee Vivian O'Callaghan for the position of deputy mayor of Bantry.
O'Leary secured the support of Independent Tommy O'Donoghue and of Fine Gael ex-Mayor Tommy Barry and the other Fine Gael members. Her victory came as a complete surprise for Fianna Fáil, who were so shocked at the result (by five votes to three) that they were rendered speechless.
Commenting, newly elected Deputy Mayor Anne O'Leary hoped that her selection would give her a chance to work with all parties on behalf of the local community.
Sinn Féin Leas-Mhéara of Monaghan County Council
The new Leas-Mhéara (Vice-Mayor) of Monaghan County Council is Sinn Féin Councillor Noel Keelan. He was elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Council last Monday.
First elected as one of the team of six Sinn Féin councillors on Monaghan County Council in 1999, Keelan represents South Monaghan. Speaking after his election, the Carrickmacross-based councillor said that he would use his position to press for better services far all of County Monaghan but that he would bring particular attention to the lack of facilities in the south of the county.
Setting out his priorities for the year ahead, Cllr Keelan said that he would promote the health needs of the county and would, with his colleagues, demand the retention of all services at Monaghan General Hospital and its further development as a hospital serving a wide catchment area. He said that he would press for immediate progress on the construction of planned by-passes for the town of Carrickmacross, Castleblayney and Monaghan.
Local authority housing would also be prioritised because, said Leas-Mhéara Keelan, the accommodation crisis was affecting many people in the county who could not afford to buy their own homes.