ONE OF Fermanagh’s longest serving councillors, Patricia Rogers, has announced her decision to step down from Fermanagh and Omagh District Council at the end of March.
A native of Trillick but now living in Tempo, in December 2016, Cllr Rogers and her family were dealt a devastating blow when her husband Brian was diagnosed with Leukaemia.
Mrs Rogers was first elected onto the former Fermanagh District Council in 2005, serving until 2011.
She regained her seat on the new Fermanagh and Omagh supercouncil in May 2014 alongside her sister and fellow SDLP member Mary Garrity.
Cllr Rogers is believed to have informed the SDLP and council officials some weeks ago of her decision to stand aside for personal reasons.
It’s understand that three male candidates are in the running to replace her on the council’s Enniskillen Ward and an SDLP selection meeting will take place ahead of the next full council meeting in Enniskillen on April 4th.
The mother-of-four made the announcement of her departure from the local political scene at last week’s meeting of the Council’s Policy and Resources Committee in Enniskillen Townhall.
Mrs Rodgers told the committee meeting: “After much deliberation and reflection, I have reached a decision to stand down as Enniskillen councillor at the end of this month to allow for a co-option.
“I have had nine very enjoyable years on council.
“I wish to thank my party colleagues for their support and encouragement over the years and to all of the rest of you for camaraderie and above all your friendships which really meant a lot to me.
“May I extend my thanks to the chief executive and council officers for their support and expertise,” said the councillor.
“They do say that there is a time for everything and everything has its time and I guess the time is now and is right for me.
“Thank God we are all in good health and I’m content to bow out from the political scene and wish to concentrate more of my time on family and other pursuits.
“I wish you all well and hope that you are returned in 2019.
“This is a strong and vibrant council and I can say hand on heart that each of us has worked tirelessly for the greater good of the electorate.
“I feel proud and honoured to have played a part in this team,” Mrs Rodgers added.
Tributes have been paid to the outgoing SDLP councillor from all parties on council following her shock departure from the local political scene.