*Bill Chambers receives a piece of crystal from Cllr Rita McInerney (FF) flanked by Senator Timmy Dooley (FF) & Billy Kelleher (FF). 

RETIRED councillor Bill Chambers (FF) was honoured with a presentation by Fianna Fáil members in West Clare over the weekend.

In a campaign event for Cllr Rita McInerney (FF) who was co-opted to take Chambers’ seat on the County Council in January, the contribution of the Cooraclare man to West Clare was acknowledged in Doonbeg Community Hall.

Last November, Chambers announced his resignation from politics. He was first elected to Clare County Council in 1985, the father of five became the first Cooraclare representative to serve as the county’s first citizen in 2016.

Speaking in Doonbeg, Cllr McInerney thanked Bill for the opportunity to fill his seat for the final six months of his term. She prevailed in a selection convention over Michael Shannon (FF) and Martin Dooley (FF). Both Shannon and McInerney are part of the four-person Fianna Fáil ticket for the Kilrush LEA alongside Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) and Alan Troy (FF).

MEP Billy Kelleher (FF) and Senator Timmy Dooley (FF) voiced tributes to the service of Chambers to the area. The importance of local representation was echoed by Kelleher with Senator Dooley noting Bill’s strength as a a vote getter in elections due to his hard work on delivering for his constituents.

Following an introduction by Chairperson of Clare Fianna Fail, Michael Enright, Cllr McInerney emphasised the importance of unity in tackling the challenges facing the community. She highlighted the vital role of connection and collaboration in addressing issues and shaping a brighter future for Clare. “As public representatives, the onus is on us to listen to what is happening in every corner of the county and do whatever we can to make the living experience in Clare, a fair and inclusive one for everyone”.

Strengthening community bonds, preserving local identity and addressing issues like housing, healthcare access, and infrastructure development were flagged by the Doonbeg woman. She pledged to advocate for improved resources to enhance road and water networks, combat the housing crisis, and support the farming sector, which she described as “the lifeblood and backbone of our communities”.

“I love my county, and I am under no illusion that we are somewhat forgotten in this part of the country when it comes to the wider national picture,” Rita stated.

MEP Kelleher encouraged the people of West Clare to support Rita while Senator Dooley referenced her involvement in local development and representation, paying tribute to the example set by her father Murt and family’s participation in sport.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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