With new Mayor’s set to be elected in the coming weeks, normal political interest in Donegal has been heightened due to the widely held belief that the town councils of Letterkenny, Buncrana, Ballyshannon and Buncrana are facing the axe, although the Cathedral Town may get some sort of reprieve.
Despite taking a tanking nationally, Fianna Fáil look set to take three out of the five mayoral roles in the county in Letterkenny, Buncrana and Bundoran.
As previously revealed by the Democrat, the Labour Party are set to take the position of County Mayor, with Cllr. Frank McBrearty Jnr tipped to take the role and Cllr. Martin Farren set to be his deputy. Cllr. McBrearty would not be officially drawn on the mayoral vote or his intentions, other than saying it’s the Labour Party’s turn. The council’s AGM has been set for June 27th.
Letterkenny Town Council is expected to elect a Fianna Fail candidate as the new Mayor of the local authority to replace outgoing Mayor, Sinn Féin Cllr. Gerry McMonagle. As yet it is unclear which of the remaining three members, Cllr. Dessie Larkin, Cllr Victor Fisher and Cllr. Ciaran Brogan, will be nominated for the position.
Buncrana Town Council’s AGM has been set for June 13th. Fianna Fáil is expected to take the mayor’s chain in the form of either Cllr. Joseph Doherty or Cllr. James Gill.
In Bundoran Town Council, Fianna Fáil Cllr. Philip McGlynn is expected to be selected Mayor next Tuesday. Along with the three members of FF he is set to receive the support of the two Sinn Féin councillors, one of whom, Cllr. Michael McMahon is the current Mayor. The current ‘understanding’ amongst the majority of members has led to the selection of a Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin Mayor to date. If elected Cllr. McGlynn will be serving his second term in the Chair.
The normal course of events in Ballyshannon Town Council would see Fine Gael Cllr. Val Murrray being offered the Mayor’s position, as Fine Gael have an overall majority, but whether he takes the chair is another matter. Cllr. Murray told the Democrat he had not made his mind up on the matter but it is known that he has cited heavy work commitments in the past with regard to any Mayoral approaches. With veteran FG Cllr. Phonsie Travers widely tipped to see out the last term of the council next year, the position would be open to Cllr. John Meehan (outgoing Mayor), Cllr. Brendan Travers and Cllr. Eugene Dolan.
One source told the paper: “All three will have already served a term as Mayor, so each would feel entitled to throw their hat into the ring a second time; they are certainly not going to hand it over to Fianna Fáil.” A meeting in advance of Tuesday’s meeting is expected to see an agreed FG candidate nominated for Ballyshannon.