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*Tuesday’s meeting of the Rural Development SPC.

Clare County Council made history on Tuesday when one of its meetings was chaired for the first time by somebody not physically present at the sitting.

Tuesday’s meeting of the Rural Development Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) was chaired by Cllr Pat Hayes (FF) who attended the meeting via Zoom and marked the first instance such a scenario occurred in the 121 year history of Clare County Council.

“It is the first time I’ve chaired a meeting via Zoom,” the Maghera native informed fellow SPC members upon successfully logging onto the meeting.

As the meeting drew to a close, praise for the manner in which the meeting was chaired was voiced by Cllr Pat Burke (FG). “I want to compliment you on chairing meeting remotely. Are you in home or at the wifi hub in Feakle? As someone who is looking for better broadband, it is working well,” the Whitegate representative stated.

Ironically, Cllr Hayes’ connection was lost following Cllr Burke’s contribution but after a moment of laughter, the meeting resumed as the Cathaoirleach appeared on screen once again. “I do want to thank John Treacy and all the team for facilitating this changing style. Broadband is a challenge for another day,” he concluded.

Fellow SPC members, Cllr Shane Talty (FF), Anny Wyse, Denis Tuohy, Niamh O’Callaghan and Eugene Crimmins also attended the meeting via Zoom.

A week previous, Clare County Council allowed contributions via virtual technology for the first time after an adaptation to standing orders were passed which permitted such a move. Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF), Cllr Pat Hayes (FF), Cllr Ian Lynch (IND) and Cllr Tony O’Brien (FF) availed of Microsoft Teams to participate in the November meeting.

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