Minutes 2021

Minutes of Annual General Meeting of Sligo County Council held on Monday, 21st June, 2021 at 10.00 am in The Council Chamber, County Hall, Riverside, Sligo


  • Councillor Baker,
  • Councillor Bree,
  • Councillor Casserly(R),
  • 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,
  • Councillor Walsh.

 (R) = participated in the meeting remotely



  • Tom Kilfeather, A/Chief Executive
  • John Moran, A/Director of Services(C)
  • Dorothy Clarke, Director of Services (C)
  • Seán Martin, A/Senior Architect(C)
  • Jimmy O’Brien, A/H.I.S. 
  • Kevin Colreavy, Meetings Administrator
  • Pauline Lavelle, Staff Officer



The Cathaoirleach welcomed all present and asked Mr. Kilfeather, Acting Chief Executive and Compliance Officer for the meeting (as required under Health and Safety protocols) to set out the procedures that were in place.



The Cathaoirleach welcomed all in attendance at today’s meeting, both in the Chamber and those attending virtually.

As this is his last meeting as Cathaoirleach, Councillor Mulvey wished to take a few minutes to address the meeting.

The Cathaoirleach recalled being elected as Cathoirleach of Sligo County Council when the prevalence of Covid-19 was on everyone’s mind.  During 2020, when severe restrictions were introduced in the interests of the health and safety of all in our community, Sligo County Council’s first major initiative was to establish a community response forum involving community and voluntary groups at all levels of expertise, who all worked to support the vulnerable and the isolated in our community. 

In line with Government restrictions, the Council has had to convene meetings off-site, in 3 locations, Knocknarea Arena in the Sligo IT, Sligo Park Hotel and the Sligo Regional Sports Centre.  In recent months, meetings have been re-convened in County Hall in hybrid format, allowing Members to attend virtually and the Cathaoirleach acknowledged the work of the I.T. Department in ensuring the smooth running of the meetings in this format.

The Cathaoirleach highlighted the hard work and courage and resilience of our frontline workers across all sectors, who have made enormous sacrifices throughout the pandemic, putting their own welfare at risk to protect others.

While the Goverment guidelines meant the Cathaoirleach was unable to attend or host many events during this past year, he welcomed the unprecedented level of investment into Co Sligo, including major projects such as O’Connell Street, Stephen Street Plaza, Yeats Trail, the National Mountain Biking Centre at Coolaney, and the opening of the new N4 road in the coming weeks.  In this regard, the Cathaoirleach wished to remember all those whose lives were tragically lost on that most dangerous stretch of road, and their families.  The Cathaoirleach added that it was an honour to be a part of the opening of the Western By-Pass road, along with the Mayor, Councillor Rosaleen O’Grady, which is going to be of an enormous benefit to Sligo, and which project is greatly complemented by the new major intersection at the new junction layout of N4 / N15 Duck Street, and paid credit to all involved in these projects.

One of the highlights of his year in office, the Cathaoirleach recalled, was to see the turning on of the €10m investment of the new Water Treatment Plant at Lough Talt.

The Cathaoirleach also wished to pay tribute to all involved in the Sligo 2030 project, currently in process.    

The Cathaoirleach recalled that, in recent weeks, as Covid restrictions have eased, he has had the privilege of presenting the Pride of Place award to a local Achonry/Mullinabreena Community Enhancement Committee, in recognition of their outstanding work over many years.  He has also visited some second level schools complemented staff on their role in helping students through the last year.

The Cathaoirleach rememered all those who have passed away during his term as Cathaoirleach and who served this Council with great distinction, including former Councillors Paul Conmy,Patsy Barry, Padraig Branley and former County Manager, Paul Byrne.

The Cathaoirleach thanked the local media who have, during Covid, been a great support and connection for so many people in the County.

The Cathaoirlech expressed his heartfelt thanks to all of his fellow Council colleagues for their co-operation and help during his term as Cathaoirleach. 

The Cathaoirleach also thanked the Executve and staff for their assistance ans wished the best of good luck to the incoming Cathaoirleach and Leas Cathaoirleach.



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

Among the tributes paid to the Cathaoirleach by his colleagues were that he had acted professionally and had been very fair to all parties, had carried out the business of conducted the meetings efficiently and to a very high standard, in a difficult year due to Covid-19 and he had done his county and his community in West Sligo proud. All the Members thanked Councillor Mulvey 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 all the work of the Cathaoirleach and said it had been an excellent working relationship during a difficult, unprecedented year, but the collaboration between Councillor Mulvey 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 and for all their support during his term as Cathaoirleach.  He added that he had found all his colleagues extremely accommodating at all times.

He also thanked the Chief Executive for his kind words and for all the support he had received from the Chief Executive during the year.



Proposed by Councillor M. Baker
Seconded by Councillor D. Gilroy

“To elect Councillor Paul Taylor as Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council.”

As there was only one nomination for the position of Cathaoirleach, Councillor Mulvey deemed Councillor Taylor to be elected as Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council.



The Cathaoirleach, Councillor P. Taylor, thanked his fellow colleagues for their support on his nomination and thanked his proposer and seconder, Councillor Baker and Councillor Gilroy.  He also extended this thanks to the people of South and West Sligo for their support over the years, and for electing him to Sligo County Council. 

He stated that it is a great honour and a privilege to be elected as Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council and he thanked his fellow Councillors Baker and Gilroy for their nominations.  He also thanked the Council Members for their unanimous support in the Chamber today.

He sincerely thanked his family, his mother and father, Robert and Margaret, wife Naomi, children, sister Karen, brother Tony, their families and all his loyal supporters. Councillor Taylor also especially his brother Bobby today and added that 1998 was a difficult year in many ways.

The Cathaoirleach extended his condolences to the family of former Cathaoirleach, Councillor Padraig Branley on his passing over the weekend, may he rest in peace. 

He also remembered the late Councillor Joe Shannon, a very wise man and a good friend, and paid tribute to him as the man who is responsible for him standing in the Council Chamber today. 

The Cathaoirleach stated that today is a day of reflection.  The last 15 months have been unprecedented, due to the Covid-19 crisis, with many businesses closed,  and the introduction of remote learning for our children and young adults. We have lost many within our communities and their families are grieving.  Many of our citizens lost their jobs and are still very unsure of their futures.

The Cathaoirleach paid tribute to Sligo County Council staff and the volunteers within the community, whose tireless and valued efforts over the last number of months have ensured that the most vulnerable in our communities were taken care of in their darkest hours. He also paid tribute to all frontline workers for their efforts during the pandemic and thanked them for their heroism and for leaving their families to protect others. It is a great honour, the Cathaoirleach stated to now stand to represent the people of Co Sligo and re-build our communities and our County stronger than ever.  Covid-19 has showed us the importance of remote working and the importance of work/life balance.  There is a huge opportunity here in the North West to capitalise on this, through Enterprise Hubs across our County such as An Croí in south Sligo, The Hub in Ballintogher, the Enterprise Hub in Strandhill, and the Cathaoirlech looks forward to the development of other Enterprise Hubs across the County to support remote workers.  For many of our communities, the provision of adequate broadbank is a huge issue and the Cathaoirlech pledged to continue to work with his fellow Councillors to put pressure on our representatives at Government level to deliver on the long promised rollout of National Broadband in Co Sligo.

The Cathaoirleach emphasised the importance of shopping local in order to build our communities, and in order to build on the Council’s winter campaign to‘shop local’, he looks forward to supporting the year long campaign to support businesses through our shop local campaign.

Tourism is a huge part of Sligo and there are many hidden gems in our county, not least the many cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels are fast being renowned, not just here in Sligo, but on a national and international basis.  In addition to existing projects such as the Sligo Food Trail and the many outststanding walkway and adventure sports centres in the county, it is the Cathaoirleach’s hope that there will be many more developments in 2022, with the progression of the Sligo Greenways projects, in order to ensure that we continue to establish our place on the world tourism map. In this regard, the Cathaoirleach would ask Sligo County Council, along with Sligo Tourism to create ‘Sligo Day’ which will see Sligo promoted to the world and trend on Twitter.

As Cathaoirleach, Councillor Taylor looks forward to seeing many significant projects completed, going to construction, or being further progressed during his term, namely, and among others:

The N4/N15 Hughes bridge project;

The Collooney to Castlebaldwin upgrade;

The Surf Centre in Strandhill;

The planning and design for the URDF Centre block & City Campus schemes;

The Eastern Garavogue bridge;

The N17 Collooney to Knock scheme.

The Cathaoirleach recognised that these projects are extremely important, not just in Sligo but the whole North West region, and will help deliver on Sligo’s designation as a Regional Growth Centre.

The Cathaoirleach looks to the designation of Sligo IT along with GMIT and Letterkenny IT as a technological university in 2022 and added that this will be a game changer for the entire region.

Covid-19 has highlighted mental health struggles and isolation and loneliness in the local and wider communities and the Cathaoirleach wished to acknowledge the work of the mental health services in Sligo, including Sligo/Leitrim Mental Health Services, STOP suicide prevention and the G.R.A.S.P. Life Foundation.  He acknowledged the difficulties, particularly for men, in seeking supports and appealed to all to reach out and seek support. It is his intention to organise an event to shine the spotlight on mens mental health and he called on the support of his fellow Councillors to get involved and and advocate for mental health. 

The Cathaoirleach thanked the Executive and staff their continued support and good working relationship with all the Councillors.

In conclusion, the Cathaoirleach added that he has worn the county colours proudly for many years and as Cathaoirleach will continue to wear the County colours of Sligo.

The Cathaoireach also expressed his heartfelt thanks to the Acting Chief Executive, Mr. Tom Kilfeather, for the leadership he has shown at a very difficult time for this Council, and he looks forward to working with him and all in Sligo County Council in leading Sligo out of the Covid pandemic.

All Members congratulated the Cathaoirleach on his election and particularly acknowledged the presence of Councillor Taylor’s wife Naomi, children and his parents. The Members added that it is a proud day for the community of Gurteen to have one of its own elected as the first citizen of the county.

The Members wished the Cathaoirleach every success in the year ahead and agreed that Councillor Taylor will meet the role with honour pride and diligence, and they assured him of their full support during the coming year. It was also stated during the Members tribute to Councillor Taylor that he is a leader ‘on and off the field’ and that he will bring great skill to his role as Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council.

The Acting Chief Executive, Mr. Tom Kilfeather, joined with the Members in congratulating Councillor Taylor, and his family, on his election as Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council and added that Councillor Taylor is well versed in representing and leading his County and he has no doubt that he will bring that same commitment, dedication and success in his role as Cathaoirleach and assured Councillor Taylor of the whole hearted support of all the staff in Sligo County Council over the next twelve months.



Proposed by Councillor M. Baker
Seconded by Councillor J. Queenan

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

Proposed by Councillor A. Gibbons
Seconded by Councillor D. Bree

“To elect Councillor Thomas Healy as Leas-Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council.”

The Proposers of both candidates for the position of Leas-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 GILROY:  Councillor Baker, Councillor Clarke, Councillor Connolly, Councillor Fox, Councillor Gilroy, Councillor MacSharry, Councillor Maguire, Councillor Mullaney, Councillor Mulvey, Councillor O’Grady, Councillor Queenan, Councillor Taylor and Councillor Walsh (13)

FOR COUNCILLOR HEALY:  Councillor Bree, Councillor Gibbons, Councillor Healy and Councillor O’Boyle (4)

The Cathaoirleach deemed Councillor Gilroy to be elected as Leas-Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council.

The Leas-Cathaoirleach, Councillor D. Gilroy thanked his proposer and seconder, Cllrs. Baker and Queenan for the nomination and those who had voted for him.  Councillor Gilroy pledged his support to the incoming Cathaoirleach, Councillor P. Taylor, during the year ahead.

The Members congratulated Councillor Gilroy on his election as Leas-Cathaoirleach and wished him well in his role and assured him of their support over the coming year.

Councillor Healy thanked his proposer and seconder, Cllrs. Gibbons and Bree for the nomination and those who had voted for him.  Councillor Healy congratulated Councillor Gilroy on his election as Leas-Cathaoirleach and pledged his support for the year ahead.

The Acting Chief Executive, Mr. Tom Kilfeather, joined with the Members in their congratulations to Councillor Gilroy on his re-election as Leas Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council. Mr. Kilfeather added that he has known Councillor Gilroy and his family for many years and his mother will be very proud of him on his election as Leas-Cathaoirleach.



The meeting concluded at 11.20 a.m.


Meeting Date 21/06/2021