*Cllr Pat McMahon supporting Newmarket Celtic with the Ryan brothers. Photograph: Joe Buckley

A STANDING OVATION was given to Cllr Pat McMahon (FF) when he attended his final selection convention as a nominated candidate.

The Clare Echo carried an exclusive interview online where the Newmarket-on-Fergus native announced that he would not be contesting next year’s local elections and was to withdraw from the selection convention for Fianna Fáil in the Shannon Municipal District.

McMahon addressed party members in Treacy’s Oakwood Hotel on Monday evening where he informed them he was putting his “health first” by deciding to withdraw from the contest.

Party members rose to their feet when Cllr McMahon concluded his address.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, Chairman of the Fianna Fáil CDC, Mike Enright wished his fellow parishioner well in retirement. “It was a privilege to work with him, he was great to attend events and to support the party. On a personal level I can remember when he got co-opted to Clare County Council after the sudden death of his father Andy, he took on Andy’s role and he topped the poll in the next election. In every election he has contested since he came through in every one of them”.

Enright also acknowledged the contribution of Cllr Bill Chambers (FF) who retired from politics with immediate effect last week. “Bill was a great contributor to the party, he was always there. I would like to thank him for all that he did for us, he was very level headed and a very cool man, himself and Pat McMahon were of the same class, they saw massive changes in Fianna Fáil and Clare County Council from the mid-sixties to the present day”.

David Griffin, a Newmarket-on-Fergus native who was selected on the ticket for Fianna Fáil paid tribute to Cllr McMahon and thanked him for his friendship and guidance over the past decade since he became a member.

Unbroken service over the last forty eight years by Cllr McMahon is “a great achievement”, Cllr Pat O’Gorman (FF) maintained.

Paddy McCormack of the Newmarket-on-Fergus cumann of Fianna Fáil said Cllr McMahon gave “sterling service” and he recalled that he topped the poll on the first occasion that the Shannon electoral area came into being for the local elections. The Mooghaun man said, “he has delivered for Fianna Fáil in every election and his father did before him”. He called on the party to organise a celebratory event to mark the contribution of Cllr McMahon to the party.

Senator Timmy Dooley (FF) acknowledged the “tremendous service” given by Cllr McMahon. “You shouldn’t have been taken by the goodwill shown to you because it was well deserved and well due”. The Mountshannon native took time to remember Pat’s late wife Kitty, “whenever I was called or summoned to the home I always met Kitty on the door, she was an integral part of every campaign, she was a strong woman and she put a great backbone on you whatever event you were going to”.

Bowing out of politics would have been “a very difficult decision,” Senator Dooley said. “You were a great retailer, a publican and a businessman but your true calling was in politics”. He continued, “you didn’t confine your thoughts to the region, you were a champion of Shannon Airport because you saw how it delivered and you called it out when you didn’t like where it was going. You never shouted from the rooftops but your diplomacy spoke volumes”.

Clare TD, Cathal Crowe (FF) said McMahon was “an outstanding and most effective public representative for the last forty eight years”. His running mate in the 2019 local elections felt his colleague could look back on “an incredible career”. He added, “you are an inspirational representative for your community and a proud Newmarket-on-Fergus man”.

Deputy Crowe was confident Cllr McMahon would bring plenty more ideas to the table during the final eight months of the Council term and referenced The Clare Echo’s exclusive interview as proof of this. “I read Paudie’s interview, he is always first off the mark in fairness to him and I read your comments regarding plans for a theme park in Bunratty and you have always been a visionary for Shannon Airport”.

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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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