Councillors to share out spoils of victory at first meetings after election tomorrow, Friday

Tomorrow (Friday), the new Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim county councils will hold their first meetings following the local elections.

For newly elected councillors and their families, it will be another celebratory occasion as the new representatives make their political debuts.

The first items on the agenda for the annual general meetings of all three councils tomorrow are decisions on the prize positions of cathaoirleach and leas-cathaoirleach, or chairperson and vicechairperson.

These are much sought-after positions, if for no other reason than the high profile they give to the holder during his or her term of office.

And for candidates who may be running in the general election, this makes them particularly attractive roles.

The positions are usually the subject of much behind-the-scenes discussion and haggling between parties and groupings on the council.

There will be particular interest in the cathaoirleach for Sligo where Fine Gael increased its representation on the council and where the party has nominated Cllr  Sinead Maguire to run in the general election.

After the selection of cathaoirleach and leas cathaoirleach, there is a plethora of committees and groups to which each council will appoint representatives.

Councillors at their meeting in Donegal will make more than 260 appointments, Sligo will make more than 100, and Leitrim will make more than 60.

For Leitrim councillors in the Manorhamilton Municipal District, it will be nothing new as there were no new councillors elected from that area, with all six outgoing representatives having been returned.

In Sligo, the new councillors attending their first meeting will be Martin Connolly, Tom Fox, and Thomas Walsh, all Fine Gael, and Donal Gilroy, for Fianna Fail.

And in the Donegal Municipal District, the new councillors are Barry Sweeney (FG), and Sinn Fein’s Michael McMahon, who’s a former Bundoran town councillor.