Respect is to be the watchword of the new - and final - chairman of Moyle District Council, Donal Cunningham, who took over the chain of office from Sinn Fein’s Cara McShane.
Cllr Cunningham of the SDLP took over the role at last Monday night’s Annual General Meeting and pledged to work for all mandates and traditions in the Moyle area.
He said he was “humbled” to wear the chain of office which had been worn since Fergus Wheeler in 1973 through to Cllr Cara McShane, the outgoing chair.
He promised to be a “passionate voice for Moyle” and asked fellow councillors to “join me to work to drive our area forward together and to stretch ourselves to work for the people of Moyle”.
Cllr Cunningham, who will also be juggling a job in the civil service with his council duties, said that he was dedicating his year of office to the community.
He said he would use the year - or ten months before the Causeway Coast and Glens Council subsumes Moyle Council - to strengthen relationships and to meet as many community leaders as possible.
“Let us make respect our watchword and respect all mandates and traditions,” he said.
Praising the dedication of Moyle Council staff, he said he hoped the transition to the new ‘super’ council would bring a favourable outcome for them.
The outgoing chair of Moyle District Council spoke of her ‘honour’ at carrying out the role.
Thanking her party colleagues in Sinn Fein, Cllr Cara McShane also paid tribute to her vice-chairman Cllr Robert McIlroy for his support during the year.
Taking over as vice-chairman from Cllr McIlroy is Sinn Fein Cllr Colm Thompson.