Blaney in line to be next Donegal cathaoirleach

COUNCILLOR Liam Blaney is on course to be the county’s next cathaoirleach.
The Fianna Fáil representative is expected to replace Sinn Féin’s Jack Murray when his term as mayor comes to an end next month.
Councillor Blaney’s position will have to be ratified when members gather for their annual general meeting on June 14. But if he does take over the role it will be his first time as cathaoirleach in his 19 years as a serving councillor. He previously acted as vice-chair under the late Dessie Larkin in 2005/06.
When speaking to the Donegal News the Letterkenny man refused to confirm whether or not he has been offered the job. But he admitted that he would give it serious consideration if it came his way.
“I’m nearly 20 years a councillor now and I’ve never held the role. So if the occasion arises I’ll give it plenty of thought,” he said.
The make up of the five municipal districts has already started to take shape despite tradition being that senior posts are not confirmed until June.
The first appointment, that of Fianna Fáil’s Anthony Molloy as cathaoirleach for Glenties District, was cemented last Tuesday. He takes over from SF’s Marie Therese Gallagher with Councillor Micheál McClafferty (Ind.) as his deputy.
In Letterkenny Fianna Fáil Councillor Donal ‘Mandy’ Kelly is set to replace Fine Gael’s Jimmy Kavanagh. It has been a long and poignant road to the chair for the Kelly family following the sudden death in 2019 of councillor and rally legend Manus Kelly. His seat was subsequently filled by his father, Donal Sr, before he stepped down to be replaced by Donal Jr.
In the Lifford/Stranorlar Municipal District Fianna Fáil Councillor Patrick McGowan is expected to take the chair. The current cathaoirleach there is Councillor Gerry Crawford.
In Inishowen it is understood Fianna Fáil’s Paul Canning has been approached to take over the top post and in the Municipal District of Donegal, Independent Councillor Niamh Kennedy looks set to replace Fine Gael’s Barry Sweeny.

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