Councillor Kevin Callan on the canvass trail in both electoral areas on the Ballymakenny Road with the 1896 Boundary Marker now dividing the town and its hinterland.
Independent Councillor Kevin Callan who won two seats in the local election has confirmed to Louth County Council that he will take up the seat he won in the Drogheda Urban Area and will be proposing a person to take up the seat in the Drogheda Rural Area to work with him over the next five years.
Cllr Callan received 897 votes in Drogheda Urban and 896 votes in Drogheda Rural. Remarkably there was only a difference of 1 vote between the areas.
Speaking to Drogheda Life Callan said that he saw it as a huge honour and responsibility to be given a mandate in two electoral areas and that he wished to be crystal clear that for the next five years he would be covering the entire area from Clogherhead to Tullyallen, Termonfeckin and the entire town of Drogheda.
“The people have spoken and have given me a mandate to work for them for the next five years. I am extremely grateful for this support and will be working across the entire greater Drogheda area for the term of the incoming council” he said.
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Cllr Callan said his motivation for running in both areas was that the Minister responsible for local government reactivated a boundary line from the 1970s in separating the town of Drogheda from its hinterland.
“The reality is that, out of nowhere, a minister who clearly doesn’t understand the layout of Drogheda and its surroundings decided to cut the area in two leaving estates like Matson Lodge, Boyne Hall, Brookville, Castle Manor, Harmony Heights as well as the surrounding villages out of the Drogheda electoral area.
“From this we were to elect four in the rural and six in the urban. After the election all ten of us will be sitting around the one table in Barlow House monthly to deal with the entire area. This led me to simply step over the boundary and call to the entire area.
“The result speaks for itself and I look forward to the work ahead. For me whilst this was double the work of any other candidate there was never any doubt in my mind that I would call to everyone I had been working for as a councillor and covering the entire area. This really was a crazy decision by the minister expecting people in estates like Brookville to be ok with their estate being cut in half”.
However, a councillor cannot occupy two seats on one local authority so Councillor Callan is currently working on proposing someone who will work with him to take up his seat in the Drogheda Rural area.
“This is a huge responsibility to ensure the independent person is someone who agrees with my work on fighting for fair treatment of Drogheda and who will back me up in the chamber, be a person who is independent and will be for the next five years.
“I do not believe in proposing a friend or family member or allowing another party to take up a seat which was clearly voted for an independent. The matter will go to the full county council on June 17th.
“I will be asking the parties to agree to my proposal as has been the case in Louth with many replacements agreed over the years in the Green Party, Fine Gael, Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail. If I do not take this course of action the parties might very well look to appoint someone amongst themselves and I will resist this fully as the people voted for me but also for an independent.