Minutes 2020

Minutes of The Annual General Meeting of Sligo County Council held on Monday, 15th June, 2020 at 3.00pm in The Knocknarea Arena At I. T. Sligo


  • Councillor Baker,
  • Councillor Bree,
  • Councillor Casserly,
  • Councillor Clarke,
  • Councillor Connolly,
  • Councillor Fox,
  • Councillor Gibbons,
  • Councillor Gilroy,
  • Councillor Healy,
  • Councillor MacSharry,
  • Councillor Maguire,
  • Councillor Mullaney,
  • Councillor Mulvey,
  • Councillor O’Boyle,
  • Councillor O’Grady,
  • Councillor Queenan,
  • Councillor Taylor and
  • Councillor Walsh.



  • Ciarán Hayes, Chief Executive
  • Marie Whelan, Head of Finance
  • Bartley Gavin, Acting Director of Services
  • John Reilly, Head of Enterprise
  • Tom Kilfeather, Director of Services
  • Mr Kevin Colreavy, Meetings Administrator
  • Clodagh Quinn, Staff Officer.
  • Jo-Anne McGonigle, Assistant Staff Officer



Mr. Gavin informed the meeting of the various safety processes and procedures that had to be followed in order to hold the meeting during the current pandemic.  He advised Members that he had been appointed Compliance Officer for the meeting, as required under Health & Safety protocols.



The Members paid tribute to Councillor MacSharry for a successful year as Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council.

Among the tributes paid to the Cathaoirleach by his colleagues were that he had been very fair to all Parties, had carried out the business of the meetings efficiently, the views of everyone had been respected and in a difficult year due to Covid-19 he had done his county proud. All Members thanked Councillor MacSharry for a job well done and said he had been an excellent Cathaoirleach.

The Chief Executive, on his own behalf and on behalf of the Executive, said he wished to acknowledge the year the Cathaoirleach had and said it had been a very easy working relationship.  There had been an unprecedented, difficult few months but the collaboration of Councillor MacSharry as Chair, the Executive and Members had been second to none and he extended his thanks to him for that.

In reply, the Cathaoirleach thanked all his colleagues for their comments.  He thanked them for their lovely kind, heartfelt and sincere words.  They had meant a lot as it could be a lonely station but he had never felt lonely.  While Members might wear different political jerseys, they had all worked particularly hard.  As the Chief Executive had said, they had done the best they could for their areas in difficult circumstances.  He thanked the Chief Executive and the Executive and, also, Kevin Colreavy.  Councillor MacSharry said he was the right arm to the Members who were lucky and fortunate enough to wear the Chain of Office and represent town and county.



Proposed by Councillor T. Walsh
Seconded by Councillor J. Queenan

“To elect Councillor Dara Mulvey as Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council.”

Proposed by Councillor G. O’Boyle  
Seconded by Councillor T. Healy

“To elect Councillor Declan Bree as Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council.”

The Proposers of both candidates for the position of Cathaoirleach set out their reasons for doing so and some of the work both Councillors had undertaken since they were first elected.

A vote was called by the Cathaoirleach which resulted as follows:

FOR COUNCILLOR MULVEY:  Councillor Baker, Councillor Casserly, Councillor Clarke, Councillor Connolly, Councillor Fox, Councillor Maguire, Councillor Mullaney, Councillor Mulvey, Councillor Queenan, Councillor Taylor and Councillor Walsh (11)

FOR COUNCILLOR BREE:  Councillor Bree, Councillor Gibbons, Councillor Gilroy, Councillor Healy, Councillor MacSharry, Councillor O’Boyle and Councillor O’Grady (7)

Councillor MacSharry deemed Councillor Mulvey to be elected as Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council.



The Cathaoirleach said he wished to acknowledge some of those in attendance at the Meeting – Mr. Frank Feighan, T.D. and former Council colleague Séamus Kilgannon.  He thanked his proposer and seconder, Councillor Walsh and Councillor Queenan.  Thanks were also extended by him to the people of south and west Sligo for their support over the years.  This honour belonged to them also. 

The Cathaoirleach put on record the very hard work of his predecessor, Councillor MacSharry.  He had played an outstanding role and had a particularly difficult half year.  He concurred with the sentiments expressed by the other Members and he had been a great Ambassador for Sligo as a whole.

The Cathaoirleach thanked his wife Colette and his sons Michael and Odhran for their strength and support.  As the family of a public representative, it was well known the work they had to carry out with them behind the scenes.  He wished to remember his late Parents, his father Frank Mulvey, who had been a proud member of An Garda Síochána for 35 years and a proud Leitrim man, and his mother Anne who was a member of the H.S.E. staff.  Both of them had exemplified what public services is about.  In particular, he also wished to mention his late brother John who had passed away in May.  The occasion was, therefore, tinged with sadness for him and his family but he knew his brother John was looking down on them.

The Cathaoirleach said he was particuarly delighted to be bringing the Chain back to south and west Sligo.  This was the first time a Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council had been from Coolaney and he was proud to bring the Chain back to his politial base of Ballymote.  The last time the office had been brought to Ballymote was by the late Tommy Lavin.  As Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council he looked forward to the upcoming year and the unique challenges to be faced in light of the pandemic.  His focus for the next twelve months was to work with his fellow Councillors who were the voice of the community and they needed to meet the needs of the county.  They must work together as a Team to help reopen businesses, big and small, rural and urban.  They would have to provide guidance for Health Centres and Schools when called upon to do so.

It was vital that the current programme for infrastructure was kept on target and that this investment was needed now more than ever.  The last few months had not been an easy time for anyone and they were meeting out of their normal setting of County Hall in Riverside.  It was clear that the way in which the challenges to be faced by the Council and country depended on the resilience and work of the Council.  Ambitious solutions to those challenges had to be pursued in fostering steady growth of the local economy, encouraging tourism and protecting agriculture.  These challenges had to be faced squarely and courageously and meet them head on.  So many had sacrificed a great deal.  Many members of the Community had been involved in the front line in the fight against Covid-19 and they were owed a great debt of gratitude for their work and the sacrifices that they and their families had made.

Sligo was lucky to have such an excellent Council Executive and staff who were working relentlessy to deliver everyday services under difficult circumstances and he thanked them on behalf of the people of Sligo.  He also acknowledged the people on the front line and the excellent Community Forum.  People and volunteers had come to the forefront and that was what community was about.

As Cathaoirleach he woud focus on all issues in Sligo County Council but, in particular, he had a special interest in Local Community and Economic Development and the role of Leader and the excellent Local Enterprise Office.  They were working in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland to ensure that during the current climate there would be on the ground engagement in every town and county to help small businesses.  They were the backbone of the community. 

Another issue very close to his heart was to see the upgrading and completion of Lough Talt Water Supply in South Sligo.  As Cathaoirleach, he hoped to oversee the development of the new water supply that was so badly needed.  In Sligo town he had been Chair of Regional Sports Centre for a number of years and he hoped to work with the newly elected T.D.s and Government to secure funding for upgrading of the facility which was urgently required.

Finally, the completion of Infrastructural projects like the completion of the N4 and that Sligo County Council would prioritise the N17 Collooney to Bellaghy and work to ensure that funding was provided urgently for the project.  As Cathaoirleach, he would work to ensure the success of Sligo’s vibrant Tourism location.  This could be achieved by the promotion of additional walkways and greenways.  The National Mountain Biking Centre located in Coolaney would be a major contributor to the county and a flagship and he looked forward to welcoming the first bikes there shortly. 

As the Chief Executive had spoken about at the earlier meeting, Sligo County Council was changing the face of the county for the better.

In conclusion, he looked forward to the co-operation of his 17 Colleagues and the Executive.  He would give his utmost to promoting the county.  He thanked the Media who were in the Knocknarea Arena and who attended the Council Meetings for their fair and balanced reporting and portrayal of Sligo to come and live and visit.

The Cathaoirleach welcomed his brother Tadhg and his wife Deirdre and their family, his sister Marie and acknowledged the continuing support of his brother-in-law, former T.D. and Minister John Perry.  He also wished to acknowledge his hard working and always driven Director of Elections, Jude Perry. 

All Members wished the Cathaoirleach every success in the year ahead.  They highlighted various areas he had been involved in since he had been first elected eleven years previously.

Councillor Bree thanked his proposer and seconder, Councillor O’Boyle and Councillor Healy and those who had voted for him.  He congratulated the Cathaoirleach on his election and he particularly acknowledged the presence of Councillor Mulvey’s wife Colette and family and extended family and said that they must be very proud.  Having known the Cathaoirleach’s Parents, Frank and Anne, for many years through his involvement in Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, he knew that this would be a particularly proud day for them.  He said Councillor Mulvey was experienced and capable and he had no doubt that he would do an excellent job in representing Sligo County Council to the best of his ability and he assured him of his full co-operation during his term.

Other Members concurred with what had been said and how proud his Parents would be on his election as Cathaoirleach and the success he would make of the role.  They also added their good wishes to Councillor Mulvey’s family.

The Chief Executive joined with the Members in their congratulations to the new Cathaoirleach and assured him of the support of the Executive.  It was an honour to be elected by one’s peers.  He also welcomed the family of Councillor Mulvey to the Arena.  He said it would be an extremely busy year and he looked forward to working with him and committed the support of both himself and the Executive.



Proposed by Councillor R. O’Grady
Seconded by Councillor T. MacSharry

“To elect Councillor Dónal Gilroy as Leas-Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council.”

As there was only one nomination for the position of Leas-Cathaoirleach, the Cathaoirleach declared Councillor Dónal Gilroy elected unanimously.



The Cathaoirleach extended his thanks to the staff of Sligo I.T. for facilitating the Meeting, the staff of AVA Systems, the Media, Civil Defence and Cyril Walsh and staff from Sligo County Council for ensuring social distancing was adhered to.



The meeting concluded at 4.00 p.m.


Meeting Date 15/06/2020