FIANNA Fail councillor Jerry O’Dea has been elected the metropolitan mayor of Limerick.
Cllr O’Dea secured 11 votes from his colleagues in Fine Gael and Fianna Fail at the annual general meeting of Limerick’s metropolitan district this Friday evening while the two Labour councillors present abstained.
There were also nominations for Cllrs Paul Keller and Seighin O Ceallaigh.
But a pact between the two biggest parties held firm, and this saw the Mulgrave Street-based publican over the line.
Speaking upon securing the chain of office, Mayor O’Dea said: “I want to see inward tourism grow and prosper. As a member of the board of governors of our fine university, led by Prof Don Barry, I would like to progress further integration and cooperation between the city and the university of Limerick, LIT, the Limerick College of Art and Design, Mary Immaculate College, and all of our fine third level institutions.”
“I would hope we can continue to create a ‘living city’ where families will want to live and students, tourists and citizens will be happy to walk the streets in safety and small businesses will feel it worthwhile to remain after 5pm,” he said.
The new metropolitan mayor also said he wants Limerick to regain its mantle of the “sporting capital of Ireland”, not just on the rugby field, but on the soccer pitch.
“Our famous Thomond Park needs no further mention and the reopening of the Market’s Field with the return of Limerick FC was a joy to behold and a great example of what can be achieved when people work together,” he added.
Fellow City East councillor Shane Clifford was also elected the deputy metropolitan district mayor of Limerick.
For more pictures, and reaction to Cllr O’Dea’s election, see Monday’s Limerick Leader.