*Cllr Alan O’Callaghan. Photograph: Joe Buckley
ON Friday, Cllr Alan O’Callaghan (FF) will be elected as the county’s first citizen.

Kilmurry based O’Callaghan was returned for a third term on Clare County Council after he secured 1,475 first preferences and surpassed the quota for the first time in his political career.

The Clare Echo has learned that for the duration of this Council term up until 2029, the position of the county’s first citizen will also be held by Cllr Gabriel Keating (FG), Cllr Ian Lynch (IND), Cllr Joe Killeen (FF) and Cllr Paul Murphy (FG).

O’Callaghan had confirmed he would “throw my hat in the ring” when asked by The Clare Echo on the potential of becoming Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council.

Fianna Fáil councillors met on Tuesday night as they finalised their plan to continue with the power-sharing agreement in the Council. The party fell just short of securing a majority on the local authority, a move which may have put the agreement in jeopardy.

With O’Callaghan to become Mayor, it will mean that for the third year in a row the Mayoral chains are resting in East Clare, he will succeed Cllr Joe Cooney (FG) who was preceded by Cllr Tony O’Brien (FF).

Retirements of both Pat McMahon (FF) and Gerry Flynn (IND) have led to vacancies to head up Strategic Policy Committees. These posts bring with them an annual allowance of €5,978.48.

Remaining in the portfolio as Chair of the Rural Development SPC is Cllr Pat Hayes (FF), Cllr John Crowe (FG) keeps a post as an SPC Chair but takes over the Social Development SPC which has responsibility for housing and succeeds Flynn.

Creation of a new Tourism Directorate in the Council has resulted in a new SPC which will be headed up by Cllr Shane Talty (FF).

Having been tipped as a potential Mayor during this term, Cllr Pat Burke (FG) has instead landed a new role as Chair of the Physical Development SPC.

Replacing McMahon in the Economic Development SPC as Chair is Cllr Pat Daly (FF) fresh from topping the poll in the Ennis MD.

Numerous appointments will be made at Friday’s AGM. However, none of the six female councillors in Clare will take on any of the senior roles.

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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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