Cllr John Dolan

Dolan is new Cathaoirleach of Westmeath council

It was an Athlone sweep of the boards at the AGM of Westmeath County Council this afternoon, Monday, with Cllr John Dolan (FG) unanimously selected as cathaoirleach for the coming year, and Cllr Aengus O'Rourke (FF) selected as leas cathaoirleach.

It was somewhat historic in a sense too, as it's not just politics the two have in common, but a shared educational history: “We were in the same year at Marist College together,” Cllr Dolan revealed.

There was a standing ovation when Cllr Dolan was selected to replace outgoing cathaoirleach, John Shaw, as a way of the councillors marking their delight that the Athlone dairy farmer was back living a full life after a shock health crisis left him fighting for his life after he collapsed at home on July 7 of last year after suffering cardiac arrest.

In the chamber to see Cllr Dolan accept the chain of office were his wife, Úna and son Shane, together with Dáil Deputy Peter Burke