[Sinn Fein]

3 July 2000

Sinn Fein takes chair of Monaghan County Council

Sinn Fein County Councillor Brian McKenna has been elected Cathaoirleach of Monaghan County Council. Councillor McKenna described his election as a vindication of the hard work of all Sinn Fein elected representatives in the County and of the widespread support for the party.

Sinn Fein holds 6 seats on Monaghan County Council (its largest representation on any local authority in the 26 Counties), Fine Gael has 6 seats and Fianna Fáil 8.

Accepting the position of chair, Councillor McKenna said:

``Sinn Fein often had to struggle hard to ensure that the rights of our electorate were vindicated on local authorities. We often found ourselves excluded by other parties. The presence of such a strong Sinn Fein group on this Council and my election to the position of Cathaoirleach, shows clearly that the way forward is through co-operation and inclusiveness.''

Commenting on the election of his colleague Brian McKenna, Sinn Fein's Cavan/Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:

``For the first time in over 100 years of local government a Sinn Fein councillor has become Cathaoirleach of Monaghan County Council. This is an historic achievement which follows from the outstanding performance of Sinn Fein in the local elections in 1999. I am confident that Councillor Brian McKenna will make an excellent Chairperson of Monaghan County Council. Our elected team in Counties Monaghan and Cavan, and throughout the 26 Counties are increasing the political strength of Sinn Fein all the time. We are providing a real alternative to the electorate and they are responding in growing numbers.'' ENDS

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