Cllr John Keogh was elected as the new Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council at Áras an Chontae on Monday afternoon and immediately called for the upgrade of the N61 to a national primary route.
The Fianna Fáil representative for the Athlone Municipal District, who succeeds outgoing Cathaoirleach Cllr Tom Crosby, proposed writing a letter to the Minister for Transport to upgrade the road from a national secondary route.
Cllr Keogh said it was “an honour and a privilege” to be elected Cathaoirleach and thanked both Cllr Cummins and Cllr John Naughten for putting his name forward.
He said the year ahead would be a busy one but that he looked forward to embracing the role and representing the people of County Roscommon at local, national, and international level.
“I thank my family, friends and supporters for their unwavering support over the years. I fondly remember all those who started the journey with me many years ago but have since gone to their eternal reward, especially my later mother and father, Celia and Michael,” he said.
“Most of all I thank the people of South Roscommon who placed their faith in me by electing me to Roscommon County Council in 2009 and again in 2014 and 2019. My election to this position would not be possible without your support”.
The Fianna Fáil councillor, who became Cathaoirleach for the first time, won the vote by eleven votes to five ahead of Independent councillor Kathleen Shanagher. Independent Valerie Byrne and Sinn Féin’s Michael Mulligan had abstained from the vote.
Cllr John Cummins was elected as Leas Cathaoirleach, succeeding Cllr Laurence Fallon. Cllr Cummins, a representative in the Boyle LEA, is set to step down from local politics at the next local election next year.