Former Fianna Fail candidate, now Independent, Declan Power (right), who has been nominated for the second seat won by Councillor Kevin Callan in Drogheda Rural.
Independent Councillor Kevin Callan has broken his silence on his plans for the second seat that he won in the local elections.
Early today Councillor Callan confirmed to Drogheda Life that he will nominate Declan Power of Clogherhead, who stood as a candidate for Fianna Fáil, to take up a seat as an independent councillor in the Drogheda Rural area to work with him for the next five years.
As was recently reported by Drogheda Life Cllr Callan, who has said he will cover the entire area anyway, was successful in being elected in both the Drogheda Urban and Rural areas achieving 897 votes in the town and 896 in the rural area.
Under Local Government legislation he can only take up one seat and the other goes with his nomination to the full County Council on June 17th.
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Cllr. Callan told Drogheda Life that his priority was that he would be working for the entire area for the five years and ensuring that the seat would be filled by someone who would be an independent for the next five years and who would work with him in his fight for fair treatment of the greater Drogheda area.
“I will be honouring the mandate given to me in both the town and rural areas and will be working in both areas for the next five years as I did for the last ten years” Cllr Callan said.
“I have tried to ensure that we have good solid independent representation across the rural area and Declan is perfectly placed in Clogherhead to help me cover every village and back road.”
Councillor Callan revealed that he had spoken to other candidates about taking up the seat but party affiliation was extremely important to them.
He explained however that it was very important to him that the wishes of the people who voted for him as a non-party candidate were respected and Power has committed to him and to Louth Council in writing that he will be an independent councillor for the entire lifetime of the Council up to 2024.
“This willingness by Declan to leave party politics shows his commitment to serve the people of the area and I am delighted to be able to propose him as a non-party and independent” Callan said. The nomination will now go to the entire County Council on June 17th.
“Co-options of this nature occur all the time and have happened on multiple occasions in Louth where Linda Bell Woods was co-opted into Ged Nash’s seat on Drogheda Borough Council, Anthony Donohue into Fergus O’Dowd’s seat and at County level it has occurred in Fianna Fail, The Green Party and Sinn Fein. As an independent Cllr Callan has the right to nominate someone to take up the seat and has now done so.
“For me the priority is that the vote given to an independent is maintained and respected whilst not nominating a family member or friend or someone not resident in the area itself” Callan said.
Power, who ran in the local election under the Fianna Fail banner, has communicated his resignation to that party and confirmed in writing to Cllr Callan and Louth County Council on the 30th May as follows:
“Dear Cllr. Callan,
I wish to confirm that I accept your co-option to take up the seat you were elected to in the Drogheda Rural LEA in the Local Government Elections of May, 2019.
I confirm that I am not a member of a political party at this time and accept your nomination on the basis that I will remain non-party for the term of the Council coming into office in 2019 to the time of the Local Government Elections in 2024.
Mr Power told Drogheda Life that he was very surprised to get the call from Cllr Callan to discuss the issue and was honoured to be asked to work for the Drogheda Rural area.
“I am very aware of the work Kevin has been doing and of his campaigning for fair treatment of the greater Drogheda area. When he reached out to me I was willing to commit to be an independent and to work for my area and to be a positive person on the council should the council agree to Cllr Callan’s nomination.
“These co-options usually go to party colleagues, friends or family members. The fact that Kevin came to me as someone living in Clogherhead, he set out his stall and the issues which are important to him and I am only too happy to work with him to make sure we do all possible for the Greater Drogheda area.”