“I hope I gave it my best shot,” was how Cllr Michael Fitzgerald summed up his year as the first Cathaoirelach of the amalgamated Tipperary County Council.
“Being the first year, it was a challenge,” he told the council’s agm.
The Fine Gael councillor praised the amount of energy that local communities put into their areas, saying those “at the coalface are doing a tremendous job”.
While there were highs and lows, the two highs that stood out were signing the charter in Dublin Castle to make Tipperary and age-friendly county, and opening the Moorehaven Centre.
“But everything is of equal importance,” he said.
However, the low point was addressing a crowd of around 8,000 people in Semple Stadium after Tipperary’s All-Ireland replay defeat “knowing that their hearts were down. I could see the pain on so many faces.”
Cllr Fitzgerald paid tribute to all the council staff who had assisted him throughout the year, particularly the county’s CEO Joe MacGrath, who, he said, was “totally dedicated” to the county.
Commenting on the occasional row in the council Chamber he said: “It would be a bloody dull place if we can’t do that. Let it continue, but not outside the door.
Cllr Fitzgerald’s year was praised by councillors, with Cllr Mary Hanna saying he had been “solid and steady”. Cllr Jim Ryan described him as a “thorough gentleman”. Cllr Roger Kennedy said: “You brought consistency in the midst of change.”