Norma Looks Forward To Year Ahead As Mayor Of Tralee

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The new Mayor of Tralee, Norma Foley, with her husband Denis Maguire. Photo by Dermot Crean

THE new Mayor of Tralee wants to harness the spirit of community activism and volunteering across all parts of the Municipal District to work together for the betterment of the area during her time in office.

Fianna Fáil’s Norma Foley was speaking after she was elected as Mayor on Friday morning. She was proposed by Cllr Tom McEllistrim and seconded by Cllr Jim Finucane. There were no other proposals for Mayor.

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This is the third time Ms Foley has taken the office, having previously been Cathaoirleach of Tralee Town Council in 1999-2000, Mayor of Tralee Town Council in 2006-2007 and now Mayor of Tralee Municipal District. Cllr Graham Spring of Labour will be Deputy Mayor.

Speaking afterwards, Mayor Foley said that she is looking forward to serving the town and district in the year ahead.

“We’re fortunate to live in a very fine Municipal District. A key priority in terms of Tralee town is the work going on in the town centre. We should complete those works as soon as possible. I think Denny Street has been a huge success and gives us confidence for what will develop in the town centre,” she said.

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“Promoting and improving the social housing programme is also a priority in our towns and villages. The seeking of a tenant for the IDA facility must be a priority and the potential for the Island of Geese is also very exciting,” she added.

She was keen to express that she will represent the entire district — which includes as far as Banna and Fenit to the north, Brosna to the east and Camp to the west — and not just Tralee town.

“We need to look at our development plan for the entire municipal district and that offers an opportunity for widespread engagement across the district, so I’d like to reach out to as many communities as possible. I think we’re blessed to have so many people who work in a voluntary capacity in our towns and villages and I’d like to harness that spirit of community activism so that we can work more closely with management of the Municipal District.”

Norma is a teacher in Presentation Secondary School, so will her students have to address her as Mayor from now on?

“I’d say not,” she laughed. “They’re the best of girls and I think it’s good for them to see a woman in a leadership role. That’s very positive. But I think all students in the Municipal District are very good in becoming involved in initiatives and as Mayor I’d like to think I can provide opportunities for further engagement in the year ahead,” she said.

She also paid tribute to the outgoing Mayor, Cllr Terry O’Brien, whom she said served the town with great distinction and energy. She said he operated in the chamber with great fairness and balance and brought humour and light-heartedness in his always professional approach.

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