Thurles Town Councillor John Kennedy (Labour) this week has the distinction of being Mayor of both North Tipperary County Council and Thurles Town Council at the same time, having been elected First Citizen of the town last night (Tuesday) at the AGM.
Councillor Kennedy is completing his term as Mayor of North Tipperary and will hand over his chain of office on June 27th having had a very successful year which, more or less, began with him welcoming the McCarthy Cup back to Tipperary, and culminated in him welcoming US President Barack Obama, a few weeks ago.
Councillor Kennedy, who has held the office of Mayor, on a number of occasions in his native town, told members last night that he is intent on establishing an awards initiative in Thurles to give recognition to people who have made significant contributions to the town in terms of business, sport, culture and community endeavours.
“I would see this scheme being similar to what Templemore Town Council does and I think it would be a great way to highlight the huge efforts being made by people in Thurles. A lot of people are doing a lot of great work and it can sometimes go unnoticed,” Mayor Kennedy told The Tipperary Star.
Adding that he would love to see a major industry coming to Thurles during his term of office, Mayor Kennedy acknowledged that it is unlikely given the current climate. However, he added that this should not prevent people from trying to do their utmost to promote and put forward Thurles as a great place to live, work and establish a business/ industry.
Mayor Kennedy also floated the idea of establising a festival and tourism initiative around the whole GAA culture and with Thurles being the birthplace of the Association, he saw no reason why this should not be supported by the likes of Shannon Development and Failte Ireland.
“Sarsfields have led the way with the establishment of the International Hurling Tournament and I think there is much to build on with this idea. Based around the Munster Final weekend, I cannot see why it would not be a success - it will certainly help put Thurles on the map internationally,” Mayor kennedy said.
Outgoing Mayor John Kenehan (Labour) said that he had enjoyed his year in office and thanked the members and officials for their efforts and assistance. He wished his party colleague well in the position for the coming year.