Fine Gael councillor elected mayor of Galway after pact

Thu, Jun 30, 2011, 01:00

FINE Gael councillor Hildegarde Naughton has become the seventh female mayor of Galway city, following a vote last night by Galway City Council.

However, she had to issue a “clarification” to fellow councillors to secure sufficient votes, following her claim earlier this year that local authority representatives were doing the “bidding” of an “elite” in the city.

Ms Naughton was elected by nine votes to six, securing support of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Independent councillors involved in a mayoral pact.

She defeated Labour nominee Colette Connolly, who was supported by Labour and her sister, Independent councillor and former mayor Catherine Connolly.

She was nominated and seconded by Fine Gael councillors Padraig Conneely and Frank Fahy, and succeeds Fianna Fáil’s councillor Michael Crowe.

Up until yesterday, there had been a “stand-off” over support for her nomination, due to the controversial comments she made earlier this year in a debate on the Galway draft city development plan.

“We’re either here to serve the public interests or vested interests,” she had said.

“There is an elite in this city that has been pulling strings for the last 20 years, and councillors are doing their bidding for them,” she had said.