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Ruane takes the helm

As expected Sinn Fein Councillor Michael Ruane haws been elected as the new mayor for Newry and Mourne district. At the AGM held last week party colleagues Councillor Terry Hearty and Councillor Mick Murphy nominated Councillor Ruane for the position, succeeding SDLP Councillor John McArdle who relinquished his role at the meeting. In a move seen as somewhat characteristic of his year ahead Councillor Ruane did not have a speech prepared instead choosing to “prove myself by my deeds rather than words in front of me.” He thanked his party colleagues for nominating him and having faith in the work he will do and he also extended thanks to his family who were present in the chamber. Acknowledging all that had been said about outgoing mayor Councillor McArdle and deputy mayor Councillor Packie McDonald, Councillor Ruane said he would “endeavour to work as hard as they have.” It had also been predicted that Ulster Unionist Councillor David Taylor would be elected to the position of deputy mayor and was nominated for the role by councillor Andy Moffett which was seconded by Councillor Harold McKee. Accepting the chain of office Councillor Taylor said he was looking forward to the year ahead and would do the job “to the best of my ability.” He too thanked his party colleagues and family members who were also in attendance as well as UUP MLA Danny Kennedy who said he was at the AGM as a “rate payer.” Outgoing mayor Councillor McArdle said that he had thoroughly enjoyed his term in office describing it as “a humbling privilege.” He thanked everyone he had worked with during the year paying tribute to council staff, his party colleagues, the press for the coverage of his term and his family in particular his wife who had “to drive me to every event throughout the year.” A number of councillors paid tribute to the former mayor congratulating him on a successful year and praising the fact he “represented all the people across the district.” Mr Kennedy a former UUP councillor on Newry and Mourne Council also took to the floor to pass on his well wishes to Councillor McArdle. “You always got a sense of who was running for mayor by who was wearing a suit or a dress, but not all the men wore dresses,” he said. “Councillor McArdle represented the entire of Newry and Mourne and the wider community, you did a wonderful job and I congratulate you and wish you well in the future.” Chief Executive of the Council Tom McCall extended his thanks to Councillor McArdle for being a tremendous ambassador for Newry and Mourne. You can look back with pride on a job that has been so well done,” he said. I would also commend Councillor McDonald and the role he played. He too was a great ambassador for the district. You made a great team and you worked so well together. We wish you both a little peace and quiet now.”


18th June 2013

Newry Democrat