Louise Heavin, pictured during the sorting of votes at TUS on Saturday. Photo: Ashley Cahill.

Heavin 'disappointed' to lose her Athlone council seat

Green Party candidate Louise Heavin said she is disappointed to lose her seat on Westmeath County Council and said the result of the election felt to her "like the old boys club of ten years ago is reinstated".

In a statement issued after her elimination from the count for the Athlone Electoral Area this lunchtime, Heavin said: "It has been an absolute privilege to serve Athlone for the last five years and it's a bittersweet ending after an enjoyable final year as mayor.

"I am proud of moving the dial slightly during my time and being a younger, more progressive, female voice in the council chamber.

She said: "Of course, I am disappointed with the outcome. I mean no disrespect to my former colleagues but it does feel like the old boys club of ten years ago is reinstated.

"There is merit in having female perspectives on the work of the council and we're not getting the balance. In the absence of diverse voices in the chamber, or a councillor that lives in the town centre, I would encourage the council to proactively seek a wider range of views, especially on the Athlone Urban Area plan, currently being drafted.

"I do hope the councillors elected see fit to progress the projects I have been working on. I am particularly keen to see the upgrading of the parks in the district, the protection of nature, the renewal of Connaught Street and the implementation of the transport strategy recommendations.

"I will continue my work and activisim in the community. I hope the next five years for the council will see a focus of the sustainable development of the town and continued improvement of our villages. I look forward to contributing what I can from the sidelines.

"I would sincerely like to thank all those who have helped me in particular local volunteers Ciaran, George, Mick, Siobhan, Meabh and the wider community who voted for me and sent nice messages over the past number of days.

"The past five years I have worked very hard for the district. I couldn't have done it without the support of my mum, Rosaleen, my brother, Padraig, my sisters, Felicity, Sinead and Teresa and of course my husband Ed who has been my rock throughout this journey.

"My two children are looking forward to seeing more of me and my silver lining for today will be the extra family time I will have," she said.

At the time of writing, the count is continuing in Moate with Paul Hogan and Tom Cleary left in contention for the last seat.

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