Cllr Gerry McMonagle and Sinn Féin party members after his election
The new cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Sinn Féin Councillor Gerry McMonagle from the Letterkenny Municipal District, was welcomed to the council at their AGM in Lifford this afternoon.
He was proposed by party colleagues Cllr Marie Therese Gallagher and seconded by Cllr Jack Murray.
His uncontested election was met with a standing ovation by his council colleagues and family including his wife Zena, sons Martin, Dean and Ultan, daughter Theresa, Dearbhla, Carol and Nicola, extended family and grandchildren, friends and well wishers.
He thanked his proposers, whom he said he knew since they were children, his party colleagues, his council colleagues and outgoing cathaoirleach, Cllr Terence Slowey, who he said did a “very good job” in his role representing Donegal in the last 12 months.
Once presented with the chain of office, his first role was to seek proposals for Leas cathaoirleach.
Sinn Féin Cllr Noel Jordan from the Donegal Municipal District was proposed, uncontested by party colleague Cllr Gary Doherty and seconded by Cllr John Sheamais O’Ferraigh.
New Cathaoirleach McMonagle said among the plans he has for the year ahead was to seek funding for major roads projects, improving internet connectivity across the county, as well as explore the idea of creating a “College of Excellence for Traditional Music” in the Gaeltacht area of west Donegal to promote the a county that was rich in culture and heritage.
Cllr McMonagle, who is originally from Derry, has been a long term resident of Letterkenny.
He formerly served on Letterkenny Town Council before town councils were abolished in June 2014 under the the Local Government Reform Act of the year.
He was first elected to the town council in 2004 and was reelected in 2009, serving as a former Mayor of Letterkenny, serving during the 2011/ 2012 term. Cllr McMonagle was then elected to the County Council in 2014. He served as mayor of the Letterkenny Municipal District in 2016. He has served chairperson of the Joint Policing Committee, chairperson of the West North West West Regional Health Forum Committee and member of Donegal County Council Housing and Environment Strategic Policy Committees (SPC’s), as well as a number of local community and sport groups.