Cllr Micheál Naughton with his family at his first Donegal County Council meeting after filling the seat held previously by the late Sean McEniff. Photo: Clive Wasson
Donegal’s newest county councillor has taken his seat.
Micheál Naughton from Laghey was selected by Fianna Fáil to take the seat left vacant by the death of former councillor Sean McEniff.
A large crowd of Mr Naughton’s family and supporters were at the meeting in Lifford today when he was proposed by Fianna Fáil councillor, Ciaran Brogan.
Cllr Brogan said Mr Naughton has been very active in the Donegal Municipal District for a long number of years. He said the new councillor had a hard act to follow as Cllr McEniff was the longest-serving county councillor anywhere in the country.
The proposal was seconded by Fianna Fáil councillor Seamus Ó Domhnaill.
“He will bring a wealth of experience in political circles but also business and sporting. I wish him well and hope the things he wishes to positively affect in his municpal, that he will achieve those,” he said.
Following his co-option to the council, Cllr. Naughton paid tribute to the late Sean McEniff and his contribution to the area he represented for over 50 years.
Mr Naughton is the manager of the Clanree Hotel in Letterkenny and manager of the Donegal ladies football team.
“I look around the chamber and I see many faces I know from politics, sports and business,” he said.
He thanked the other candidates who took part in the selection process to take the seat and “the party members who put their faith in me”.
Cllr Naughton said councillors should highlight what they in common and “minimise the differences”.
“We have all got a goal in common and that is to make the area we live in a better place.”
He said one of his main aims would be to develop the huge potential of tourism in the county.
“Our towns are as good as anywhere. It is very important that we keep Donegal and rural Ireland to the forefront,” he said.
He thanked his wife, Annette, and his family and friends for their support.
“It is not what your community can do for you but what you can do for your community. That is my goal,” he said.
He was welcomed to the chamber by members of the other political groupings.
Mayor Gerry McMonagle welcomed Cllr Naughton to the council. “My door always open and look forward to working with you in the rest of the term,” he said.