Air of sadness permeates election of new Limerick Mayor 

Francis Foley, the newly elected Mayor of Limerick City and County.

AN air of sadness permeated the election of Fianna Fáil Councillor Francis Foley as the new Mayor of the City and County of Limerick earlier today.

The Abbeyfeale-based councillor was elected unanimously by the 39 members of the Council after he was proposed and seconded by his party colleagues Michael Collins and Bridie Collins.

The election of the new Mayor was deferred for a week following the sudden death of Limerick City Fianna Fáil councillor Jerry O’Dea whose burial took place on the same day he was due to be elected to the position.

The new Mayor was also elected to serve as Cathaoirleach of the Newcastle West Municipal District at its annual meeting last week.

Speaking following his latest election, Mayor Foley said that while it was a huge personal moment for him and his family, it would be remiss of him  not to mention his friend and colleague Jerry O’Dea.

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“It was his sudden passing that triggered this event for me and while it is a hugely joyous day for me, it is bittersweet.”

Mayor Foley said housing was one of the most pressing issues at present.

“The biggest challenge we face at the moment is the provision of housing – for our young people in particular.

“Between now and 2026 we have been tasked to deliver over 2,500 new homes. The Council must ensure that there are no obstacles to getting these homes built. Failure or excuses are not an option.

“Limerick is a place that people from many different countries and creeds call home. I will represent all communities in Limerick and ensure that every section of these communities receives and acknowledges due recognition and service for our council and that nobody is left behind.

“Different thinking and customs help to enrich Limerick. We must be open to new ideas, give people the voice to articulate and debate them and then move on together.

“Limerick and the wider region has been buoyed by a series of jobs announcements in recent months and weeks. We must continue to make sure that we don’t rest on our laurels,” he said.

“We must continue to search out that company, create the ‘next best thing’, provide the proper housing, public realm, facilities and services that are required for a modern society to function.

“We have to make bold and brave and sometimes tough choices, but they have to be right for Limerick.

“Limerick, like other cities around the world, needs to look to the future, embrace what a city needs to be, wants to be and should be.

“We need to be Team Limerick, not Team Me,” the new Mayor declared.

Francis Foley was first elected to the then Limerick County Council in 2004 and has continued to be re-elected in all subsequent elections to Limerick County Council and latterly Limerick City and County Council.

Fianna Fáil also took the position of Deputy Mayor, with Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon being elected.

The election of the Mayor of the City and County of Limerick brings to an end the series of annual meetings in Limerick.

Those elected were:

Limerick City and County Council: Mayor Francis Foley (FF) and Deputy Mayor Kieran O’Hanlon (FF).

Limerick Metropolitan District: Cathaoirleach Olivia O’Sullivan (FG) and Leas-Chathaoirleach Dan McSweeney (FG).

Adare-Rathkeale Municipal District: Cathaoirleach Stephen Keary (FG) and Leas-Chathaoirleach Adam Teskey (FG).

Cappamore-Kilmallock Municipal District: Cathaoirleach John Egan (FG) and Leas-Chathaoirleach Ger Mitchell (FG).

Newcastle West Municipal District: Cathaoirleach Francis Foley (FF) and Leas-Chathaoirleach Michael Collins (FF).