Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway’s newest councillors have taken their seats at County Hall this afternoon.
Ivan Canning has been co-opted to fill the seat of elected Deputy Anne Rabbitte, while Billy Connelly has taken the seat previously occupied by Deputy Sean Canney.
Since the general election last month, which saw Loughrea Councillor Anne Rabbitte and Tuam Councillor Sean Canney take up seats in Galway East in the 32nd Dail, 2 seats have remained vacant at County Hall.
Councillors were only interested in one thing as today’s meeting got underway – and that was filling those seats to bring the chamber back to it’s full compliment of 39 Councillors.
Caherlistrane native Billy Connelly was the first to take a seat, after being proposed by Des Joyce, seconded by Tom Welby and receiving unanimous agreement from all other Councillors.
He received a hearty round of applause, and he thanked Sean Canney and his own family, many of whom were in attendance, and spoke of his long-time history on the fringe of politics.
Councillor Connelly is vowing to do the best job that he could possibly do.
Meanwhile, Portumna man Ivan Canning took his seat moments later, after being proposed by Martina Kinnane, seconded by Mary Hoade, and supported unanimously by all councillors.
The well known hurler, whose extensive family including brother Joe Canning were watching proceedings from the public gallery, was greeted with another warm round of applause as he took his seat.
He told his new colleagues that he was honoured to take the position, and advised them that he was a quick learner – and after he paid tribute to his family, including his five children, he thanked his wife for giving him permission, which drew laughter from the full chamber.
Councillor Canning says the family have always held a strong interest in politics.
Deputy Sean Canney was not at today’s meeting, due to commitments in the Dáil, but Fianna Fail Deputy Anne Rabbitte was there to see her seat filled – she says it’s a great day for Portumna.
Meanwhile, a seat remains Vacant on the City Council, with newly-elected Independent TD for Galway West, Catherine Connolly, remaining tight-lipped on her selected nominee.