Youngest ever Mayor for Limavady

HISTORY was made this week as Cathal McLaughlin was appointed Mayor of Limavady Borough, the youngest man ever to hold the post.

Friday, 8th June 2012, 11:32 am

Councillor McLaughlin is also the first Sinn Féin councillor from Magilligan to be appointed Mayor. The Sinn Féin councillor made an emotional speech in the council chamber last night, describing the occasion as “one of the greatest nights of my life”, as well as paying tribute to outgoing Mayor and party colleague Sean McGlinchey, who the newly appointed Mayor said would be a “hard act to follow.”

For the Deputy Mayor’s post, outgoing SDLP woman and schoolteacher Orla Beattie handed back the chains and made a short speech thanking everyone for their support over her year in the post.

DUP councillor Alan Robinson was nominated by his party colleagues to take over the post, to form a young and intriguing Mayoral team with Sinn Féin man Cathal McLaughlin. His DUP colleagues said that as one of the “hardest working” men in Limavady, and the man who topped the poll in Limavady town, councillor Robinson would be a “fine choice.”

Cathal McLaughlin, in his opening address as Mayor said: “I would like to start by thanking Sean for the tremendous hard work and dedication he has put into his year as Mayor of the Borough.

Sean will be a hard act to follow.

“He received countless invitations from all sides of the community and reached out to everybody in this area, Sean for that I pass on my congratulations for all you have done in your year as Mayor.

“Thank you and I will do my very best to continue ploughing the furrow you have dug. My heartfelt thanks also goes to Orla Beatue in her year as Deputy Mayor, congratulations and well done.

“To my party colleagues in council I would like to thanks all of you for your comradeship and support in the past year and I look forward to reciprocating this in the year ahead.”

He added: “On a personal note, it is an honour and a privelege to be selected by Sinn Féin to take this post as Mayor for the Borough of Limavady and in doing so making me the youngest ever Mayor of this town.

“My son Niall and my family are here this evening and are so proud that I have been granted this honour. I would like to thank them for their help and support, not just in politics, but all through my life. Unfortunately, my father isn’t here but I am sure he will be looking down on me with a great big smile this evening.

“Some of my friends and colleagues are also here, so thanks for coming to help me celebrate one of the greatest nights of my life. I would like to thank the Gleann na Rua team for their help throughout the election campaign that got me elected as a councillor last year.

I would also like to thank the people of the Bellarena ward who not only got me elected but have stood by me through my first year of council, so this is an honour for them also and I will give my guarantee to them, as well as the rest of the Borough that I will continue to work tirelessly on their behalf.

“I intend to represent this Borouhg as Mayor to the best of my ability and I promise I will attend as many engagements as possible and would encourage everybody from any organisation or community group to make a request for my attendance.

“I would like to finish by again thanking my party for giving me this chance of creating history by being the youngest Mayor ever in Limavady, for being the first ever Sinn Féin Mayor from Magilligan and being the first ever St. Aidan’s Magilligan Gaelic team player to hold the chains of office.

“Last Monday we welcomed the Olympic flame to Magilligan, tonight we will welcome the Mayor’s chains to Magilligan.”