Kelleher to become Kerry’s first citizen

Cllr Niall Kelleher, who is expected to be elected Mayor of Kerry on Friday, pictured on Main Street, Killarney before the local elections.
Picture: Valerie O’Sullivan

KILLARNEY councillor Niall Kelleher is poised to become the new Mayor of Kerry, KillarneyToday.com can reveal.

He is due to be ratified at the first meeting of the new-look 33-seat Kerry County Council in Áras an Chontae on Friday.

The 33-year-old Fianna Fail councillor, first elected in 2014, more than doubled his vote in the May 24 local elections in the Killarney Municipal District and he was one of 10 members of his party elected to the local authority.

It is understood that following extensive negotiations with a number of parties and independents, FF has brokered a deal with Fine Gael and, between them, they have 17 seats which is sufficient to give them control of the key positions.

Barring an 11th hour hitch, both parties – who also held the balance of power in the outgoing council – will share the post of mayor over the next five years and they will also get to decide who sits on a number of internal and external committees. These include chairs of strategic policy committees, the audit committee, joint policing committee, the regional drugs task force, Killarney National Park liaison committee, the Regional Health Forum and the Kerry Education and Training Board.

The new FF-FG power base on Kerry County Council will comprise Fianna Fail’s Cllrs Niall Kelleher, John Francis Flynn, Jimmy Moloney, Norma Foley, Michael D O’Shea, Michael Cahill, Norma Moriarty, Fionnán Fitzgerald, Breandán Fitzgerald and Mikey Sheehy and Fine Gael’s Cllrs Patrick Connor-Scarteen, Jim Finucane, Mike Kennelly, Aoife Thornton, Seamus Cosaí Fitzgerald, Bobby O’Connell and Michael Foley.

As reported by KillarneyToday.com yesterday, Cllr Kelleher – who lives in Knockanes, Killarney – is also part of a four-councillor pact that will govern who the Mayor of Killarney will be over the next five years.

Cllr Michael Gleeson will be the first mayor of the new-look municipal district followed by Cllr Brendan Cronin, Cllr Marie Moloney and Cllr Kelleher with the position to be shared in the final year.

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