*Cllr Tony O’Brien (FF) celebrates his election on the

“DIALOGUE and honey” are needed to ensure a cohesive approach among elected members of Clare County Council for the next term.

Elected to the local authority for the fourth time, Cllr Tony O’Brien (FF) took the final seat in the Killaloe Municipal District after polling 1,263 first preference votes. He got in on the sixth and final count without reaching the quota.

Retaining his seat for the third election in a row left Cllr O’Brien quite pleased. “I polled well, I held my poll, Killaloe was very good to me, Killaloe turned out and said ‘Tony O’Brien is the man and we want you there for another five years’, as did my own parish of Bridgetown so I was coming out of there with well over 950 first preference votes which is an honour and a privilege and one couldn’t but be happy and the greater community of East Clare”.

First elected in 2004, Tony lost his seat his five years later. The election just gone posed a different type of challenge with Matt Moroney (II) running in his backyard of Killaloe. “Matt Moroney lives approximately 300m down the road from me, it was a challenge but a challenge I was up for and I’m delighted to say I took it on and I embraced it. I work hard within my community, I don’t work hard for votes, I only do it for the specific reason that I love the place I come from, the people responded accordingly. I’m a humble person, I’m honoured and privileged at all times to represent my community and by extension the community of East Clare”.

Over the next five years, Tony will have a predominant role when it comes to the official opening of the Killaloe Bridge and Bypass. “It is particularly satisfying, when I came in back in 2004 there was talks of a bridge crossing but in the last few years we’ve seen it happening. Before I was elected there was no talks of a bypass or anything that would benefit Killaloe or East Clare to the extent that it has, I’ll hang my ribbon on that, I’m really proud, it is the small things, there’s a little bit of a glint of happiness that I’ll be there when it is cut whoever is cutting it”.

Maintaining a power-sharing agreement is important, the Killaloe man felt. “I’m not going to pre-empt anything but I will not give any commitments that would handcuff people. If you want my opinion on what should happen, you achieve far more with consensus, consent and dialogue and interaction with your colleagues. There will be 28 people elected at the end of this process to represent Clare for the betterment of the county and I think it is incumbent on each and everyone of the 28 to share that responsibility. There is an old saying you will always get a lot more with honey than with vinegar, I’ll live by that, consensus is always high on my list of priorities”.

On whether he will be pouring honey over Fianna Fáil colleagues in Ennis who have been clashing in recent months, Tony told The Clare Echo. “I always say it, dialogue and honey, I’ve been to the fore in trying to bring a consensus there and I won’t stop trying”.

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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.

Subscribe for just €3 per month

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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