By Noel Dundon
Youth has been given it’s fling in North Tipperary with the election of the two youngest members of the local authority as Mayor and Deputy Mayor.
Councillor Micheal Lowry was unanimously elected First Citizen of the county at the AGM in St Patrick’s College, Thurles this week with his partner Martina present, alongside family members including his father, Deputy Michael Lowry who first graced the local authority back in 1979.
However, in spite of Deputy Lowry’s standing as one of the most influential, but controversial, national politicians, he never had the opportunity to be First Citizen and was as proud as punch to see his son take the chain of office for the coming year. The position of Deputy Mayor went to Labour’s Cllr Jonathon Meaney who was described as “the baby of the council but with all of his teeth.”
Mayor Lowry followed in his father Michael and his uncle Phil’s footsteps on the local authority and described his election as Mayor as being one of the proudest days of his life. His grandparents John and Noreen McGrath were also present to share the special occasion as well as members of the extended family and they heard the new Mayor outline his plans for the coming year with a back-to-bacis approach underpinning his aspirations.
The new Mayor said that he would hardly be able to bring the same level of international attention to the county as his predecessor did - outgoing Mayor Cllr John Kennedy rubbed shoulders with US President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle during their visit to Moneygall - but he looked forward to representing the county with distinction nonetheless.
Citing the promotion of tourism, the agricultural sector including food production, the fostering of an entrepreneurial spirit, and the renewal of housing repairs and roads as being amongst his main priorities, Mayor Lowry said that he would endeavour to ensure that every available opportunity is grasped for the county.
“I believe we have a fabulous product here that can be marketted and sold all over Ireland and beyond. The moral well being and health of our county can act as a barmoeter for the rest of the country and so my commitment is about much more than money and jobs; it is about morale courage and conviction; it is about belief and creativity; it is about faith in this great county that I am proud to lead over the next year,” he said.
Mayor Lowry had been proposed by Cllr Michael O’Meara who described him as having “a very astute political brain which he didn’t lick off the road”, and was seconded by Cllr Jonathon Meaney.
In reference to the Mayor’s comments about his predecessor rubbing shoulders with President Obama, Cllr Michael Smith (FF) noted that while the previous Mayor brought the US President to North Tipperary, the current Mayor is trying to bring the White House - a comment alluding the to proposed Tipperary Venue at Two-Mile-Borris which is being backed by the Lowry team and which the Mayor described as having the capability of attracting international as well as national visitors to the area.
See Page 2 for full story.