John Dolan celebrates his election with his wife, Una.

Dolan hopes to make Athlone area 'a better place to live and work in'

Fine Gael's John Dolan was re-elected to Westmeath County Council on the third count for the Athlone local electoral area on Sunday evening.

"I am delighted to be re-elected to Westmeath County Council," he said. "It's an honour to have the goodwill and support of the electorate."

The Kilgarvan, Fardrum, man received 1,124 first preference votes, which was a slight decrease - of 149 - on the volume of number one votes for him last time out in 2019. In percentage terms, his vote share was 12.6%, down from the 14.7% recorded in 2019.

Cllr Dolan was surrounded by family and friends as the results were read out, and, after the celebrations, he acknowledged their contribution to his successful campaign.

"I'd like to thank my family, my supporters, and everyone who worked with me. I am looking forward to the next five years – to make Westmeath a better place to live and work in," he said.

When asked what issues he believes the council must focus on when it reconvenes, he focused on the topics that he was hearing about as he was out canvassing in recent weeks.

"The biggest issues at the doors this year are the normal ones, such as the cost of living, housing, and traffic.

"Traffic was a major issue," he emphasised, echoing many other candidates who ran in the Athlone area.

However, Cllr Dolan was quick to mention that he intends to fight for the farming community.

"Coming from a farming perspective, we need to support our rural communities. I intend to be at the forefront to fully support our rural communities.

"There is a lot of negativity around farming – we have a strong story, and I want to tell it. I will be available to anyone," he commented.