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New SF councillor takes his seat

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New Sinn Féin councillor Joe McHale wants Mayo County Council to stop privatising their services and to embrace ‘a co-operative approach’.
The Straide native was co-opted onto Mayo County Council at last week’s monthly meeting. He replaces Thérèse Ruane, who stepped down from the role.
Sinn Féin councillor Gerry Murray proposed that Mr McHale replace Ms Ruane, saying McHale is a proud Republican who has been involved in community work for many years and was involved in the founding of the Moy Davitts GAA Club.
Accepting the nomination, Mr McHale thanked Cllr Murray and fellow Sinn Féin councillor, Teresa Whelan for proposing and seconding him, and he paid tribute to Thérèse Ruane for her work in the council.
In a wide-ranging speech, he touched on such issues as Brexit, farming, Michael Davitt, the future of GMIT in Castlebar and developing cultural links with councils in ‘the six counties’. He also commented on Mayo County Council’s modus operandi.
“Over the years the council has moved from being a co-operative to a corporate. We know the history of corporates, and that it benefits the few. It has led to a reduction of frontline staff.
“Privatisation has been introduced not just in Mayo but right across the country. It comes from a centralised policy at national level, and that is something we have to overcome,” he said.
A number of supporters were in attendance at the meeting, including Senator Rose Conway-Walsh. Cllr McHale was welcomed by a number of councillors, who also praised the work of Thérèse Ruane during her time on the council.

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