THE newly-elected mayor, Cllr Daniel Butler has vowed to "push the boundaries to achieve the best for Limerick".
Earlier today, the Raheen man became Limerick's latest first citizen, securing unanimous election at this year's annual general meeting.
And after donning the robe and chain, he was keen to talk the area up - and said he wanted to get the message out there that everyone is welcome on Shannonside.
"Our diversity is our strength. We are a growing diverse city and really the different cultures to come to our city have enriched us and made us a stronger city and county. We need more people to come and live here and deliver on our ambitious plans for the city and county. I want to let everyone across the world know Limerick is a great place to come and live, learn and grow, and develop a family. We are a city which welcomes everyone with open arms no matter," he said.
"I'll push the boundaries to achieve the best for Limerick city and county, and hopefully by this time next year, I can say I've been successful," he added.
He sees part of his role as the newly elected mayor as getting Limerick "up and running again" as the country begins to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.
"I'll be doing that with a great sense of energy and doing so safely," he added, "The great thing about Limerick is we have a great network internationally and I'm hoping to exploit that from here at home so we can let people know we are working for business, we are still working hard, and Limerick is the place to live."
It was an emotional afternoon for Mayor Butler, who was joined by wife Tanya, children Jacob and Layla, as well as his proud mother Bernadette.
He was co-opted onto the former Limerick County Council in 2014 following the sad death of his father Richard.
And many of the councillors made reference to the popular councillor, who himself was elected as Cathaoirleach in 2010, at the time the highest position available in the county.
"It was an emotional occasion," Mayor Daniel Butler said after, "But my father is his own man, I am my own man. We often disagreed politically. But I've certainly learnt a lot from him. But I put my own stamp on things. I'm hoping to be able to put my own stamp on this year."
Elsewhere, he wants a renewed focus on the environment to take hold during his year in offic.e
"Covid-19 has made us turn to nature for refuge, for renewal, for escape and a sense of connection. We have always known the value of our environment and now more than ever we can clearly see it. Let’s leave the car in the driveway and walk and cycle to the shops or school. Let’s support our workers to work from home. Let’s repair rather than dump," he said.
And he said he will place a particular focus on the arts, singling out a number of performers including Denise Chaila.
"She is our modern day poet reflecting her reality in the words she weaves. She represents the new identity emerging from Limerick and as she says ‘You came to the 061. We’ll show you how to get things done.’ Because that’s what we do in Limerick we get things done. There is no doubt we need the arts and the arts needs us so let’s get out and enjoy and support our creative citizens so we can reclaim what Covid took from us," concluded Cllr Butler.
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