O’Reilly succeeds McElduff as new Council Chairman

WORKING closely with businesses and young people will be on new Council Chairman, Sinn Féin Cllr Thomas O’Reilly’s agenda.

Cllr O’Reilly succeeded Cllr Barry McElduff earlier this week after the latter’s one-year term as Chairman came to a close. The new Vice-Chairwoman will also be a Sinn Féin councillor, Ann-Marie Donnelly who steps into the position vacated by Cllr Allan Rainey.

Forming and maintaining partnerships will be key to Chairman O’Reilly as he aims to build upon the work done by his predecessor.


He said: “I’d like to thank the party group for allowing me to take the Chair for the first mandate – and a very important mandate it is too.

“We have a lot of major decisions to take and will be under difficult circumstances to some degree I dare say. However, I know that we have always been up to the task as a Council to be able to deliver for the people of Fermanagh and Omagh. I have no doubt that collectively, we will be able to do that.

“I certainly look forward to working in partnership with all the Councillors because it is true that in partnership, we can achieve and will achieve within this Council mandate.

“That goes along with working in partnership with many other people and organisations outside of this Council as without it, we will have an uphill battle. I look forward in particular to working to highlight business and I think it is very important to champion our businesses.

“It is also important to champion all of the people that are coming to be the leaders in our community – such as our young people. I think it is important to hear their views and be able to take on board when possible, the views and aspirations that they have for our Council area.”

O’Reilly also praised the outgoing Chairman and Vice-Chairman for their efforts in leading the Council this past year.

He added: “I would like to pay tribute to Barry as outgoing Chairman and to Allan as the Vice-Chairman – both who are two very capable representatives of our Council.


“Both will be a hard act to follow – particularly Barry’s enthusiasm and dedication to the role in being able to use the Chair to bring the Council to the citizen. It’s very important to hear their views and give them an opportunity to speak directly with the Council.”

In his final speech as Chairman, Cllr McElduff remarked on how his term of office helped improve his knowledge of Fermanagh.

He said: “As a Councillor for Omagh town and as someone who has a strong innate knowledge of mid and west Tyrone, it was a real privilege for me to get to know Fermanagh and its people a lot better in the past year.”

Also decided in this week’s meeting was the allocation of which parties would have the position of Chair during the rest of the newly-elected Council’s four-year term.

The UUP will go for the Chairmanship next year with Sinn Féin to put forward nominations for the following two years. Meanwhile the DUP indicated that they will apply for the Vice-Chairmanship in two years time.

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