Kevin Meenan was officially co-opted back onto Louth County Council at a special meeting of the council held at County Hall on Monday evening, where the one time Dundalk Town Council member replaced new Sinn Féin TD Ruairí Ó Murchú.
The casual vacancy on the council arose from Ó Murchú’s election to Dáil Éireann on February 9. The Deputy was present at the meeting, along with party colleagues and members from other parties, as well as council officials.
Meenan had been selected to go forward at a party convention held on Thursday last in Dundalk, as first reported by LouthNow.ie. A former councillor, who served on the local authority from 2004 to 2009 and then again from 2014 to 2017, was unopposed.
Members present, as well as welcoming Meenan back into the council fold, took time to pay tribute to the recently elected Ó Murchú. Group leader Pearse McGeough officially proposed Meenan to replace Ó Murchú. The Ardee Municipal District councillor paid tribute to his friend in doing so.
“It’s a privilege and an honour for me to propose my friend Kevin Meenan as a councillor for the Dundalk South area,” he said.
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“Kevin has a long history of community engagement and working for those who are voiceless. He has always been an outstanding advocate for his constituents and when he spoke in the chamber it was obvious that everyone listened and he was respected by all.
“It is great to see him re-joining our group of Councillors and I would also like to take this opportunity to thank his partner Paula and his daughter Caithlain for supporting him in this decision,” McGeough said.
Speaking in the chamber, new Cllr Meenan spoke of “unfinished business” he had as a public representative, having had to resign his position on the council in 2017 due to health issues. Ironically, Ruairí Ó Murchú TD took his first step into politics to replace him three years ago.
“I’ve always had a good working relationship with councillors and officials alike and look forward to getting stuck in again. I feel there is unfinished business for me to do and I am humbled and honoured to be here once again.
“I feel that I have grown up here, I have spent most of my working life as a councillor and now I’m back.”
Speaking to LouthNow.ie, last week, Meenan said; “I’m fully up for it now. The more days had passed, the more I wanted to get back. I had my mind made up. I’m eager to get back now and work for the people I have worked for in the past.