Mayor Mike Kelly’s Final Speech

It’s been a huge honour to serve as Mayor of Ballinasloe for the last year and also, of course, on

previous occasions. I very much viewed the role as Mayor primarily as a means to promote our town

and all it has to offer in a positive way.

Since I was first elected in May 2004/ I have seen many significant changes in the town, with many

projects such as those mentioned earlier, among others, being driven by Ballinasloe Town Council

and its members along with the executive.

I believe that the priorities for Ballinasloe, going forward, are the capital projects such as the Town

Enhancement Scheme, Inner Relief Road at the rear of Main Street and Society Street, which I

believe will open up an area of town beside the river for future development and riverside amenities

// the development of the convent building // further development of the marina // and of course,

it’s VITALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE MAINTAIN ALL OUR EXISTING SERVICES AT PORTIUNCULA

Tonight marks the final chapter, the end of an era; the final meeting of Ballinasloe Town Council

since its establishment in 1841.

Ballinasloe Town Council, formerly Ballinasloe Urban District Council, has always been an integral

part of the community, driving and supporting the development of the town on both a social and

business level, and supporting clubs / groups and various organisations along the way.

The changes which will take place in June next will have a significant impact on the town / and it

remains to be seen if these changes will be for the better.

In my opinion, I see the abolition of Town Councils as a retrograde step, and I believe that it will have

a negative effect on our town and on the business and social life of our community.

In other European countries, they chose to increase representation at local level, and here, in their

wisdom, the powers that be decided to abolish it.

I am of the view that town councils should be retained / reformed and given increased powers and a

greater range of functions. In the other words, local representation for local issues here in our town.

As the last Mayor of Ballinasloe, I would like to pay tribute to all the fine people who served the

community so well over those 173 years, as members of the Council. They have given of their time

and energy for the betterment of our town.

In particular, I would like to acknowledge and pay tribute to all the sitting councillors here tonight,

for the interest and passion that they have shown for our town.

I would also like to thanks the present and past Council Executive and the Council Staff, for their

cooperation and support.

Whatever the future brings, I do believe that we have left an imprint and legacy of good work in

the town, ant it will be vitally important that the newly elected Municipal Councillors for our area

continue the good work of this existing council / ensuring that Ballinasloe town and its people have

strong representation on the newly expanded Galway County Council. / I would like to wish the best

of luck to our two town councillors who are running in Friday’s elections, and a happy retirement

from politics, for the time being anyways, for those not seeking election (like myself). / Wish Co-
manager well is retirement.

Thank you and Go raibh mile maith agaibh go leir