*Ben Sweeney during his time as a producer with Tipp FM. 

FORMER PRODUCER of Clare FM’s Morning Focus, Ben Sweeney is to become the new parliamentary assistant of Clare TD, Cathal Crowe (FF).

Last month, The Clare Echo reported that James Mulhall, himself a former news reporter with Clare FM was to finish up as PA to Deputy Crowe. The Offaly native had been in the role since April 2020 after the Meelick man was first elected to Dáil Éireann.

Once again Deputy Crowe has opted for a former member of the newsroom at the Francis Street based Clare FM to take on the mantle as his PA.

Ben Sweeney who left Clare FM shortly after Mulhall’s exit has been a communications executive at his alma mater Mary Immaculate College for the past four years. The Ennis man is a past pupil of St Flannan’s College and was heavily involved with Wired FM during his time as a student at MIC and was nominated for a SMEDIA award.

Sweeney served as producer on Clare FM’s Morning Focus when it was presented by Gavin Grace. Prior to this, he held the same role on Tipp FM’s Tipp Today which is fronted by Fran Curry. Ben’s father Ger was the first voice heard on Clare FM and has held many presenting roles with the station since its formation in September 1989.

Before Ben begins his new role as PA, the role will be filled temporarily by Cllr Rachel Hartigan (FF) who last year worked as an intern in Crowe’s constituency office. She said this experience was a factor in influencing her decision to contest the local elections where she was elected and is now the youngest elected member of Clare County Council.

Deputy Crowe in a statement to The Clare Echo said of the new appointment, “I have known Ben for many years and he will be a superb addition to our small, but very effective, office team”.

Ben said of the new role, “Cathal has proven himself to be a hardworking and dedicated representative for the people of Clare and I’m excited to join him and his busy team in the coming weeks”.

Mary Skehan and Sonya Wood Fahey both work as secretarial assistants in Crowe’s constituency office.

Meanwhile, Clare TD, Violet-Anne Wynne (IND) has hired her latest parliamentary assistant. Kathleen Coll has commenced employment as PA to Deputy Wynne in the past fortnight.

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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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