Harte to name council successors before end of month

Labour Sen. Jimmy Harte’s successors on the Letterkenny and county councils will be announced before the next county council meeting on May 30.

Labour Sen. Jimmy Harte’s successors on the Letterkenny and county councils will be announced before the next county council meeting on May 30.

Sen. Harte said the new councillors will be named before the next meeting of the county council. Letterkenny Town Council holds its next monthly meeting in June.

The senator said that he and the new Labour councillors will work together “to make sure Donegal gets a fair crack of the whip”, and to build a stronger profile for Labour in Donegal North East.

He said his local priorities in the Seanad will include Donegal’s health and education needs, and infrastructure, such as the proposed Letterkenny relief road and Bunagee link road, and the A5 dual carriageway in the north and Donegal links to that.

He said he will work closely with councillors to secure more power and more funding for Donegal County Council.

The senator opposes the elimination of town councils. Letterkenny Town Council “delivered good services and amenities to Letterkenny that may not have been possible had there not been a town council with a revenue base and nine councillors that always worked together,” Sen. Harte said.

“The proof is there,” he said.

The new Seanad returns next week, when Sen. Harte will enter the senate for the first time. “It’s new territory for me,” he said.

Labour has traditionally been considered more of an east coast party, but this year Labour also has new senators in Sligo, Roscommon, Limerick and Kerry, and new TDs in Galway, Clare and north Kerry. “As a group we will be emphasising the west,” Sen. Harte said.

He said the new representatives also mean something of a new beginning for Labour in Donegal North East. “There is a momentum there that we can build on,” Sen. Harte said.