Businesses ‘tried to delay’ the election of new Mayor of GalwayJune 26, 2012 - 7:30am
By Declan Tierney
Behind the scenes efforts to retain Cllr Hildegarde Naughton as the Mayor of Galway for the duration of the Volvo Ocean Race finale are understood to have been made by city businesses.
However, these attempts failed to come to anything as Cllr Terry O’Flaherty was elected unopoosed as the new Mayor of Galway last evening.
But, when contacted last night, the new Mayor said that she was aware of efforts to prevent her being elected the city’s first citizen but didn’t want to comment any further on the matter.
The outgoing Mayor, Cllr Hildegarde Naughton has been made an ambassador of the Volvo Ocean Race and was present when the launch of the race took place in Alicante earlier in the year. She also attended a number of stages of the race around the world.
It is understood that Galway Chamber of Commerce wished that she remain as Mayor of Galway until the event was over.
Galway Chamber of Commerce President, Declan Dooley told the Sentinel that they had discussed this several months ago but nothing had become of it. He pointed out that Cllr Naughton had now been made an ambassador for the Volvo Ocean Race.
However, he denied that any approaches had been made to city officials about delaying the election of the new Mayor of Galway which took place in City Hall last night.
Several members of Galway City Council are aware that suggestions were made to postpone the election of the new Mayor so that Cllr Naughton could continue her role for the duration of the high profile finale which kicks off next Saturday with week-long festivities that will result in millions being spent in the city.
Newly elected Mayor, Cllr Terry O’Flaherty, said last night that she knew that some effort was made to prevent the Mayoral election taking place.
“I am aware of an attempt to prevent the Mayoral election taking place but, despite this, proper procedures have taken place in accordance with the Local Government Act. Apart from that I have nothing else to say on the matter,” she said.
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