FRIENDS and family of the late Sinn Féin Cashel Councillor Michael Browne filled the Chamber of Cashel Town Council on Monday evening, to see his brother Martin officially co-opted into the seat which Michael ‘Mickey’ Browne occupied almost continuously since the 1980’s.
The seat was sadly left vacant following Michael’s death earlier this year, shortly after he became the first serving Sinn Fein Councillor in history to greet a reigning British Monarch in the Rock of Cashel. Cllr Browne had also just finished a term as Mayor of Cashel.
During a bittersweet occasion on Monday night, Martin was officially put forward as a candidate to continue the family tradition of serving on the Council. Martin Browne has a strong association with local Cashel community groups, and is a long-time member of Sinn Fein.
Proposing the motion, Cashel’s longest serving Councillor, Cllr Sean McCarthy, said it gave him great pleasure to propose Martin Browne.
“Martin, as we all know, is very involved in a lot of worthwhile community groups, and is an very active in the Camogie, the Spafield Family Resource Centre, and real true community player and activist.” Martin comes from a “staunch and lifelong political family, who have been members of Sinn Fein” for years. Cllr McCarthy said he knew Martin would represent all his constituents and family, and large circle of friends who support him, with hard work and diligence.
“Martin, we know you are a dedicated member of Sinn Fein, which plays a major role in the Peace Process, and political reform in Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein are also very lucky in that they have a ready-made replacement for Mickey, who worked together with us here for years at all levels of this town.”
Cllr Joe Moloney, a long time associate of the late Councillor Browne through the GAA, told the meeting that Martin Browne is a “diligent worker” who comes from the community. “If there is any help that I give, my door is open and I wish you all the best in your term as Councillor.” Cllr Eddie Bennett, who lives in Oliver Plunkett Park, across the road from the late Sinn Fein Councillor, said Martin Browne would be a “great asset to the Council. He has vast experience. He has a hard act to follow.”
Cllr Martin Browne (Ind), whose own father passed away this year, said he knew what it was like to be called upon to occupy a family member’s vacant seat. With two Martin Brownes now on the Council, “we’d better stick together”, joked Martin Browne (Ind). Other Councillors, and Management also wished Cllr Browne (SF) their support.
Cashel’s newest Councillor said it was an “honour and a privilege to step into his (Mickey’s) shoes. I learned a lot from Mickey. I’d like to thank Sinn Fein, both locally and nationally, for their messages of support over the past few weeks, since his death. I hope to do as good as the people who went before me. I know I have a hard act to follow. I hope to show all of them that I am up to the task.
“I hope we can work together to improve Cashel.” Cllr Browne said he would support small businesses, sporting, and other civic organisations during his term of office. Cllr Browne also fills a vacancy on the Joint Policing Committee, a position on the Irish Public Bodies Mutual Insurance Ltd., the Joint Libraries Committee, and the Association of Municipal Authorities of Ireland.