McAleer elected chair

Pearse McAleer, who has taken up his fourth term as chairman of Cookstown Council, three of them in as many decades. INMM2413-197ar.

Pearse McAleer, who has taken up his fourth term as chairman of Cookstown Council, three of them in as many decades. INMM2413-197ar.

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COOKSTOWN District Council has elected its Chair for the incoming year - Sinn Fein councillor Pearse McAleer.

The veteran republican was voted in by colleagues as SDLP councillor Tony Quinn exited the chairman’s seat after one year at top of the council.

Ulster Unionist councillor Robert Kelly was elected deputy mayor after being voted in by UUP colleague Sam Glasgow MBE, and seconded by SDLP councillor James McGarvey.

Councillor Kelly takes the place of Sinn Fein’s John McNamee, who thanked fellow members and council staff for their support during his role.

In his opening speech, councillor McAleer said he looked forward to delivering to the district over the next 12 months.

Since being elected in 1985, councillor McAleer’s new chairman role will mean he has chaired the council in three different decades.

In his closing speech councillor Quinn reflected on his 12 months in the post and touched upon the tragic murder of Northern Ireland Prison Officer David Black in November last year.

“Our prayers and thoughts were with the Black family then, as they are today,” he said.

Councillor Quinn also thanked council members, staff and the public for the support he received during his time as chair.