New Mayor of Limerick Cllr James Collins, pictured with outgoing mayor, Cllr Stephen Keary PICTURE: KEITH WISEMAN
FIANNA Fail councillor James Collins has been elected as Mayor of Limerick City and County.
The City West area member, a publican by trade, secured the chain of office after winning 27 of the 36 votes available at the annual general meeting of the local authority this Friday afternoon.
His election comes as part of an deal with Fine Gael which has seen the two biggest parties share the top positions on the council.
Speaking upon taking the chain of office, Cllr Collins said: “I want as Mayor of Limerick City and County to plan the future Limerick - a Limerick that works for everyone.”
There were also nominations for Labour’s Elena Secas, who was picked by Sinn Fein.
But the grand coalition held firm to give Fianna Fail the fifth mayoralty of this council term.
However, it might not be the final mayoralty, as the first citizen’s seat could become vacant should a general election be called and Cllr Collins is successful in his Dail bid.
Mayor Collins added: “We have to do more for the citizens of Limerick, make our parks and plazas more attractive and safer places. I want as Mayor to promote the quality of life you can enjoy in Limerick - especially after work. We have a beautiful storied city and county, and we must protect our environment and our reputation. That is why I intend to use this office as much as I can to press the case against Incineration at the Irish Cement Plant in Mungret. There is a dark cloud hanging over us. I urge the EPA to reject Irish Cement’s licence application to incinerate toxic waste in the suburbs of Limerick at Mungret.”
Meanwhile, fellow Fianna Fail councillor Michael Collins, Newcastle West, has been elected as deputy mayor.
A cousin of James Collins, he beat off competition from Sinn Fein councillor Seighin O Ceallaigh.
Cllr Collins becomes the fourth mayor of Limerick City and County, following in the footsteps of Cllrs Kevin Sheahan, Liam Galvin, Kieran O'Hanlon and Stephen Keary.
Absent from the annual general meeting were Cllr Paul Keller, Solidarity, Independent Cllr Emmett O’Brien, Fine Gael’s Jerome Scanlan and Cllr Ciara McMahon, Sinn Fein.
The mayor of the metropolitan district, Cllr Daniel Butler of Fine Gael was elected last Monday.
For more on the election, see the Monday edition of the Limerick Leader.