Cllr Tom Crosby pictured in his home village of Tarmonbarry

Tom Crosby elected as new Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council

Independent Cllr Tom Crosby has been elected as the new Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council.

The Tarmonbarry-based councillor, who has held the position of Cathaoirleach on three previous occasions since his election to the local authority in 1991, was elected at the AGM of Roscommon County Council this afternoon (Monday) on the proposal of Cllr John Cummins from the Fianna Fail group, and seconded by Independent Cllr Laurence Fallon. He replaces outgoing Cathaoirleach, Cllr Joe Murphy (FF).

Speaking after his election, Cllr Crosby said job creation will be “top of the agenda” during his term of office, and he referenced the fact that the major employment provided by both Bord na Móna and the nearby ESB power station in Lanesboro has been lost to county Roscommon in recent times.

During his wide-ranging acceptance speech, the incoming Cathaoirleach also spoke about the role of tourism and described it as “one of the key employers” across the county.

“The most popular holidays now are activity holidays, and Roscommon is well placed to capture a very good share of that market in the future” he said.

Among the tourism initiatives he is hoping to progress is a plan to open up access to lakes and rivers to capitalise on fishing tourism, and also the further development of the greenway network and the 60 mile long coastline along the banks of the river Shannon that runs through the county.

In relation to the many challenges ahead, the new Cathaoirleach said litter is one of the “greatest scourges in the county, and the country” and said he would like to see more effort being made to collect litter fines. He also made reference to the legal challenge mounted by Friends of the Irish Envrionment (FIE) in relation to remedial works at Lough Funshinagh, which he described as “one of the greatest disasters in the county for many years.”

In paying tribute to the role played by the Council’s Chief Executive, Eugene Cummins, on Lough Funshinagh, Cllr Crosby said it is up to the “powers that be” to change the law whereby groups like FIE can take a legal case on a ‘no foal, no fee’ basis.

“In no other country in Europe, or in the UK, is that allowed, and unless it changes here, things are going to get very seriously out of hand” he said.

Independent Cllr for the Athlone area of South Roscommon, Laurence Fallon, was elected as Leas-Cathaoirleach on the proposal of Cllr John Keogh (FF) and was seconded by Cllr John Naughten, from Fine Gael. He replaces Cllr Orla Leyden (FF).