Drogheda Borough Municipal District Annual Meeting took place on the evening of Monday 13th June in the Governors House, Millmount. The order of business of the Annual Meeting saw a new Mayor and Deputy Mayor elected by Drogheda Borough Municipal District Elected Members as required under Section 36 of the Local Government Act 2001, as amended.
The outgoing Mayor, Cllr. James Byrne welcomed everyone to the annual meeting as his last duty as the 421st Mayor of Drogheda. Remarking on the privilege of having been elected Mayor, he thanked fellow Councillors for the confidence, trust, and guidance shown to him throughout the year and for collaboratively working together for the greater good, and praised outgoing Deputy Mayor Cllr Declan Power, for his support.
Mayor James Byrne also thanked the Chief Executive, her Directorate, and particularly Directors of Service Paddy Donnelly and Joe McGuinness for the valuable support and guidance on meetings and for respectfully upholding the tradition of the Office of Mayor. Meetings Administrator Gráinne Tuomey was noted for putting the Mayor at ease when the pressure was on at meetings, and staff were thanked for their work throughout the year.
As well as thanking members of the press for courtesy shown, the late Jimmy Weldon was especially remembered by the Mayor as “a great source of advice and a friend who we all miss.”
Commenting that it had been a special year for himself, his wife Eimile and two children Laurena and Cathal, the outgoing Mayor, Cllr. Byrne identified the Drogheda St Patrick’s Day parade as the highlight of the year. He said “To the people of Drogheda for the courtesy and respect you have shown me as Mayor, I’ll never forget. Drogheda is a special place and to be able to serve as Mayor of my home town, a town that I love it’s truly humbling.”
Members complimented Cllr. Byrne on his work as Mayor on what was described as a strange year and thanked him for his integrity, and professionalism as well as the courtesy shown by him to fellow Members. The Chief Executive Joan Martin speaking on behalf of the Executive advised Cllr. Byrne that it had been the greatest pleasure working with him during the year.
Cllr. Byrne then called for nominations for his replacement and following election Cllr. Michelle Hall was called to the chair of Drogheda Borough Municipal District.
Cllr. James Byrne vacated the seat to make way for the next Mayor Cllr. Michelle Hall.
Cllr. Hall whose family was in the public gallery, thanked fellow Councillors for the honour of becoming only the second female to hold the title of Mayor of Drogheda and thanked the outgoing Mayor for his steady hand guiding meetings both online and in person. She thanked fellow Councillors for their commitment and for advocating for constituents, and the ‘vibrant’ labour party locally and nationally and looked forward to working with the Executive. Thanking her family who keep her grounded, her parents for their encouragement and her partner Joe for his unwavering support, Cllr. Hall advised that her ambition when she was young was to be a teacher or the Irish Ambassador to France, but that she had recently become a teacher and considered the role of Mayor of Drogheda better than her previous ambition to be an Ambassador.
Outlining her plans for the year ahead, the new Mayor, Cllr. Hall advised of wanting to concentrate on 3 T’s – Trauma, Transport and Tourism; to make Drogheda a Trauma Informed Town with safe spaces; to promote the town for Tourism; and to encourage Active Travel measures to offset carbon emissions where possible.
Members congratulating Mayor Hall on her election as 422nd Mayor of Drogheda, described Cllr. Hall as a very hard worker with innovative ideas and wished her all the best in the year ahead.
The Mayor, Cllr. Hall then called for nominations for Deputy Mayor which saw Cllr. Kevin Callan elected as Deputy Mayor of Drogheda Borough Municipal District.
The Chief Executive congratulated both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor on behalf of the Executive and Staff of Louth County Council, Paddy Donnelly Director of Services also offered his congratulations and welcomed both to their roles.