Friday 15 December 2017 09:45:22 PM

First Ever Sinn Féin Council Chairpersons in Banbridge
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TWO Sinn Féin Councillors on Banbridge District Council have welcomed their respective appointments to Chairs of Banbridge Council Committees. Drumgooland Cllr Pól Ó Gríbín heads up the Public Services Liaison Committee while Cllr Brendan Curran has taken over as Chair of Environmental Service. The appointments under the Council’s proportionality system mean that Councillors Ó Gríbín and Curran are the first Sinn Féin representatives to hold Chairs on Banbridge District Council.

Speaking after the appointments Cllr Ó Gríbín noted that, despite the image portrayed by some individuals, Banbridge Council has been progressive and has embraced all the community. He said: “There is still a lot of work to be done within our communities but the system of power sharing on Council sends out a positive message and other Councils could learn from Banbridge’s positive approach.dn_screen

“The ability to share responsibilities and honour agreed procedures without compromising principles shows political maturity and political confidence. As a corporate body Council operates in the interests of all our citizens and the open, friendly working atmosphere within our civic buildings and amongst Councillors and staff is testimony to this common commitment.”

Cllr Ó Gríbín accepted that it was not always harmonious but said: “If we didn’t have different opinions we would all be in the one political party. These differences reflect society and our job is to seek consensus not to dominate. There will always be some self-promoters who put their own or their party’s interests first but the majority put Banbridge District and its people to the forefront. Banbridge Council shows maturity in allocating positions and sets an example for others.”

Cllr Curran stressed that he and Cllr Ó Gríbín would do their utmost to carry out their roles effectively saying: “Within the chamber all members express their views openly and honestly and without acrimony. We will continue to ensure that this is the case by carrying out our duties in a professional and fair manner.

“There are challenges ahead for all Council Departments as we move to the establishment of new and bigger Councils and there will be many demands on Councillors time but we must keep focused on providing the best possible services for the people of the district.”