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Cllr Tom McNamara is to take some time before deciding whether he will contest the 2019 local elections.

On Friday, the Fianna Fáil councillor passed on the mayoral chains to Cllr Michael Begley. Reflecting back on the past twelve months, he said “I had a good year, I really enjoyed it, I love serving people and I feel I did everything in my power to promote the county for the last twelve months. The seeds that we have sown in the last twelve months will hopefully reap a lot of reward for the people of Clare for a lot of years to come”.

A new schools programme is to be introduced by the Council in the coming months to educate secondary school students on the work of the local authority. Tom explains the background to it. “I had a group in from Kilmihil and they were second year students and the teacher that was involved with them for the year that started off their programme and they said they’d visit Clare County Council, we had about fifty of them in and the teacher spoke at the end and she said ‘when we sat down at the end of September and talked about our programme for the year and coming to Clare County Council, I asked the students what did they think Clare County Council did and 90% of them said they fill pot holes’.

“That’s where I’m coming from, we did a presentation of our four directorates, how we deliver services, the budget we deal with and the importance it is that we’re the people that have to make sure that there is employment for these people into the future, giving them an idea of what happens within the political field, that in itself if we could encourage more people in and let them know the value of politics and what politics means to people and how we can improve the quality of life of people in the county, that’s what it’s all about”.

Now that he is no longer the Cathaoirleach, the Kilmaley man will have more time to devote to retaining his seat on the Council. With the redrawing of the electoral areas, he could depart the Ennis MD for Kilrush. When asked by The Clare Echo where he intends to run next year, he stated, “That’s a big question. With the way the new divides are going I’ve a lot of thinking to do, I was absolutely delighted to serve the people of Ennis and would love to continue to serve them.

“I have an option of serving the people of Kilrush if they want me to serve them and I have the option of staying at home. I’ve three options, I’m going to think long and hard about the options but I’m very much rural in the sense that I’m driving the rural development strategy and I feel there’s a lot that can be done for rural communities, I can do that as a councillor for Ennis and I can do that as a councillor for Kilrush but if the people want me to represent them and they elect me to do so I’d gladly do it”.

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