The newest addition to Galway County Council, Independent Des Joyce, has said the promotion of the interests of rural Ireland will be his primary objective when he is co-opted on to the council next month.
Mr Joyce was last week chosen to occupy the seat vacated by Michael Fitzmaurice following his election to Dáil Éireann in the Roscommon – South Leitrim constituency.
Following his election to Galway County Council in the Tuam municipal district in May, then-CllrFitzmaurice asked his supporters to select a replacement candidate should he vacate his seat.
Mr Joyce, a Glinsk cattle farmer and businessman, who also has experience in the construction industry, was chosen alongside Marty Ward and Rosaleen Hegarty following the vote, in which 90 per cent of then-Cllr Fitzmaurice’s supporters participated.
Following a meeting between the three front-runners, it was mutually agreed that Mr Joyce would occupy the seat on Galway County Council. He will be formally co-opted to the council at its November meeting, currently scheduled for Monday, 24 November. A vote will not be required to facilitate the co-option.
Speaking to the Galway Independent, Mr Joyce said he would continue to carry out the good work carried out by Cllr Fitzmaurice during his brief term.
Among the issues that Mr Joyce has promised to campaign on are turf-cutting and rural schools. He attracted national media attention last year when he donated a €3,000 Limousin bull named Hero to theGlinsk National School raffle, which subsequently raised €100,000 for the school.
“Looking after rural Ireland is the big thing,” said Mr Joyce, who added that Deputy Fitzmaurice’sGalway voter base had offered him their support.
“They’re all going to fall in behind us and whatever Michael does at the minute seems to be the right thing to do and they’re all happy with that,” he said.
Mr Joyce acknowledged the volume of work involved in becoming a local representative, but insisted he was up to the task.
“It’s a challenge down the road for us, and once we’re inaugurated into office we’ll take the reins and get stuck into it.
“I was used to working 100 hours a week, so work was never a problem!”
From Galway Advertiser
Galway county councillors paid warm tributes to Des Joyce after he was co-opted on to the council at this week’s local authority meeting. Mr Joyce fills the seat which was left vacant by Independent representative Michael Fitzmaurice following his elevation to the Dail. Mr Fitzmaurice was elected to the county council earlier this year to represent the Tuam municipal district but won the Dail by-election held in Roscommon/South Leitrim following the departure of Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan to Europe.
Des Joyce – a Glinsk based farmer and businessman – is a well known community activist, he was nominated for the position by Mr Fitzmaurice’s canvas team. Councillor Tom Welby, speaking on behalf of the council’s Independent representatives outlined that his fellow councillors would help Mr Joyce in any way they could. Tuam Fine Gael councillor Peter Keaveney said he was delighted to see Des Joyce elected to the county council saying; ‘’He is a young fellow that has got on very well and I have no doubt that he will continue to get on well. We are from the same area and I hope we can work well together for the benefit of that area.’’
Local Independent councillor Shaun Cunniffe said Mr Joyce evidently had ambition and a clear vision about how a community should be treated. ‘’People expect more nowadays, they want honest, open, strong representation and I have no doubt that Des is all about that.’’ Councillor Seamas Walsh told Councillor Joyce that there was a great spirit of camaraderie and co-operation on the council and he hoped Des Joyce could add to that. ‘’I am nearly 17 years on this council. We have a great system of consensus and we will fight as well as the rest, but we will all work together for the needs and the good of the people.’’
Mayor of Galway Mary Hoade told Mr Joyce that being a representative for his local area was a huge honour and she had no doubt that he was joining the council at a good time, as it was early into the four year term. Galway’s newest councillor addressed the chamber and paid tribute to his predecessor Michael Fitzmaurice. ‘’The man I am replacing, I want to thank him personally for his support and for having the faith in me, to put me forward for this job. I also want to congratulate him on becoming a TD, it is a huge achievement for him and his team. To my fellow councillors, we are all here to bring the views of the people forward. I’m looking forward to working with you all and with council staff. Finally, I want to thank my family for their support.’’
A large number of councillors also congratulated Mr Fitzmaurice on his elevation to the Dail and the Deputy was present at the meeting which he was afforded the opportunity to address. ‘’Firstly, to the council staff I struck up, what I would describe as a great relationship with you, I found the staff to be very helpful and accessible. To all councillors, thank you for being courteous to me, we are all shooting at the one star, trying to make things better for the people. I know I am now representing the people of Roscommon and South Leitrim, but I want to say I do not recognise borders and if somebody in Galway or one of you councillors comes to me with a problem, I will do my best to highlight it on a national level. I am a person with the people, the same person I was six months ago my feet are firmly on the ground and I intend to keep it like that. My phone is always on.’’