NEW MAYOR: Cllr Niall Kelleher this week spoke to the Killarney Advertiser and said that he’s honoured to be elected Mayor of Kerry. Photo: Domnick Walsh/Eye Focus
By Michelle Crean
Killarney Councillor Niall Kelleher this week said that it’s a huge honour to have been elected Mayor of Kerry.
The 33-year-old, who lives in Headford was elected as Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, just weeks into his second term as an elected representative for Fianna Fail.
He is the 64th person to occupy the chairperson’s role since the Council was established in 1899 and says over the next 12 months’ he plans to not only focus on countywide issues but prioritise Killarney’s biggest problems including parking and traffic, business rates amongst others.
On being elected as Mayor, he said it’s “a great honour”.
“It’s something a lot of people don’t get in a lifetime,” Cllr Kelleher told the Killarney Advertiser this week. “In politics, you can be lucky, but you also get what you put into it. I intend to leave my own footprint on the role of Mayor of Kerry.”
Speaking about the local election and the results he received he said he was very proud.
“Personally, I’m exceptionally proud of my result.”
As Mayor of Kerry, he plans to focus on many things, including Greenways, business rates, which he says are draconian, and employment.
However, particularly in the Killarney area, he says he will focus on parking and traffic issues in the town, Aras Padraig car park, and said decisions need to made regarding the Pretty Polly site.
“One of the biggest things I want to see completed in the short term is Lewis Road Junction,” he said.
“The Mission Road and Muckross Road traffic needs to be prioritised and we need our new outer relief road. This is something that has to be an objective of this Council term. There’s a plan there already. There’s no excuse in coming up with the route and getting it from national Government to get it built.”
A new roundabout at Deerpark also needs to be achieved during the lifetime of this Government, he added.
“With Pretty Polly, I believe there’s six expressions of interest into it. There needs to be decisions made. We have to be daring to take challenges.”
The Rathmore native said that he will also be focusing on his home village particularly it’s redevelopment.
“That’s something I’m looking forward to seeing in the next few months,” Kelleher, who has been Chairman of the Kerry Joint Policing Committee and Chairman of the Local Community Development Committee, said.
The father of three, who is married to Linda, thanked the people of Killarney for their support. “I thank the people of the Killarney Electoral Area who supported me in such great numbers on May 24 which puts me in this position.”