Kelly elected Mayor as Hopkins slams ‘vendetta against Boyle’

Ballaghadereen electoral area Independent Councillor John Kelly is the new mayor of Roscommon County Council. He was elected unopposed at this week’s annual general meeting of the council which was held on Monday last.   Cllr. Kelly, who recently ran in the general election was proposed by Cllr. Tom Crosby and seconded by Cllr. John Connor. Cllr. Kelly takes over as part of the voting pact between Fine Gael and the Independent councillors on Roscommon County Council and he succeeds Fine Gael Cllr. Charlie Hopkins.   Cllr. Hopkins told the meeting that there were many highlights during his year in office. On the plus side he said that the developments at Lough Key Forest Park undertaken by the council, the development of the mobile library and Roscommon minors winning the All-Ireland title were some of the memorable events. However on the negative side he said that the continued refusal of planning projects for the Lough Key and general Boyle area was very frustrating.   Cllr Hopkins said that it seemed as if there was ‘ a vendetta against people who wanted to develop tourism facilities in the Boyle area. ‘I hope that changes in the  near future’ he remarked. Cllr. Hopkins was praised by many councillors for his year in office and his fairness and even temperment was commented on by all who spoke   Cllr. Crosby said that Cllr. Kelly would make an excellent mayor. ‘He has all the attributes that will make him an excellent Mayor and in his three years on this council he has shown that he is well equipped for the job’ he said.   When it became clear that the Fianna Fail side were not going to make a counter-proposal Cllr. Kelly was elected unopposed.   Cllr. Kelly said that to become the first citizen of the county was’a great honour for me and my wife and children and extended family too’. He said that he had a number of priorities for his year in office.    ‘I want to reforrm the way we do business at meetings. We waste too much time talking about some issues that could be sorted out with council officials. I want to further the case of the long-awaited Ballaghaderreen Swimming Pool and I want to set up a Youth Council in County Roscommon. We have to listen to our young people.’    After  tributes were paid to Cllr. Kelly, another Independent – Cllr. Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan – proposed Independent Cllr. Tony Ward for the deputy mayor’s role and he was seconded by Fine Gael Cllr. Michael McGreal. The South Roscommon councillor was also elected unopposed. In proposing him Cllr. Flanagan said that Cllr. Ward was a ‘hard-working and honest man who had only one interest in mind – that of the people who elected him.’    The new mayor was congratulated by the County Manager Mr. John Tiernan who pledged the full support of himself and the executive of the council in Cllr. Kelly’s work over the next twelve months.