Two-time All-Ireland winner elected chairman of Offaly County Council
Former Offaly hurler Danny Owens has been elected unopposed as the new chairman of Offaly County Council.
Owens, who won All-Ireland titles with Offaly in 1981 and 1985, was proposed by his Fiann Fail colleague Declan Harvey at the AGM of Offaly County Council on Monday, June 18.
No other candidate was proposed and there was broad support for the Mountbolus man who previously held the position in 2012. He takes over from Fine Gael's Liam Quinn who handed over the chains on Monday. Peter Ormond was elected unopposed as the vice-chairman for the coming year.
Outgoing Cathaoirleach Liam Quinn signed off his tenure by thanking his colleagues in the chamber as well as council management and his family for their support.
He also noted a number of highlights, including the National Ploughing Championships, Tullamore Show, the final agreement for the new Oaklands Community School building in Edenderry and the Rose of Tralee victory.
"I never thought my first job as chairperson last year would be to head down to Ballinahown to stand on the back of a lorry and welcome home the Rose of Tralee," Liam quipped.
He went on to thank the Rose of Tralee, Jennifer Byrne, for "being so generous with her time for council initiatives over the last year."
Quinn's fellow councillors spoke glowingly of his service and thanked him for being a 'fair and dedicated' chairman. They also welcomed the election of Danny Owens as his successor.
The new Cathaoirleach thanked all members for electing him unopposed, and also thanked the outgoing Cathaoirleach and Leas Cathaoirleach for their service. He complimented Liam on his year at the helm, saying he "carried out the job with aplomb."
Owens looked forward to a new year and the challenges it will bring, including the development plan review, as well as the council's role in tackling the challenges facing people, including employment and commercial rates.
He also earmarked rural development as a focus of his year as chairman. "We can't allow the current erosion of rural communities to continue - we must do something about it," he said.
"We must take a broad approach, reach out to communities and engage with them into the future. We have to challenge the view that urban living is the only way in the future," he concluded.
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