McTernan reflects on honour of being First Citizen

Outgoing Cathaoirleach, Cllr John McTernan described his year as Leitrim’s First Citizen as a “privilege and an honour”.

Outgoing Cathaoirleach, Cllr John McTernan described his year as Leitrim’s First Citizen as a “privilege and an honour”.

Addressing the AGM in the Council offices last Monday in what was his final duty as Chairperson, Cllr McTernan thanked his fellow councillors and the council management and staff for their support and assistance over the past year.

“I’m a stonemason by trade and one of my tools of trade is a hammer,” he said, jokingly picking up the gavel of his current office as Chairperson.

“When I looked at his I certainly thought this hammer wasn’t in any way sufficient!”

Taking a more serious tone, Cllr McTernan said that he had been honoured to be able to represent Co Leitrim at events in both London and New York and had taken very fond memories of his time as an ambassador for the county.

He observed that, despite the difficult economic times “its’ a great test of the staff and management team here at Leitrim County Council that we continue to provide the range of services we do”.

Noting that the strong pro-active stance of the Council had also been evident in the Local Authority’s move to secure jobs at Bank of America and the ongoing promotion of the county as a place to live, work and visit, Cllr McTernan said that there was much to be proud of in the last 12 months.

“Last weekend I also attended the launch of Carrick 400,” he said, something that would bring benefits to the county town and the wider Leitrim community.

“I have also recently officially opened the new waste water facility in Dromahair and it is this type of facility that will give strength to rural towns in future,” he said.

He acknowledged challenges remained in handling issues such as the unfinished housing estates but pointed out that the Council were now working to address this.

His Council colleagues also paid tribute to the outgoing Chairperson describing his conduct over the past year as having been both “fair and respectful”.

To mark the occasion, County Manager, Jackie Maguire, presented Cllr McTernan with an album of photos marking his year as Leitrim’s First Citizen.

“Thank you for all your kind words, I have been thrilled to serve as the Cathaoirleach of this Council,” he said in response.