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Cllr Charlie Casey has been appointed as Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council at the councils Annual Meeting in Downpatrick tonight.

It's the second term as head of the council for the veteran Newry city councillor having taken the position of Mayor of the old Newry and Mourne District Council in 2012 following a year as Deputy Mayor in 2011.

Cllr Casey has been a Newry city councillor since 2001.

At the council's Annual Meeting the new Chairperson urged all Councillors to unite to protect services under threat in the Council area, particularly those which look after health and welfare of all and in particular the most vulnerable.

The Councillor pledged that as Chairperson he would fight for those life saving and life changing services, champion the cause of equality and  take forward the Council commitment of putting communities at the heart of everything it does.

Cllr Charlie Casey has been appointed as Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council at the Council's General Meeting tonight. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
Cllr Charlie Casey has been appointed as Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council at the Council's General Meeting tonight. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

“Newry Mourne & Down Council mission is to lead and serve a District that is prosperous, healthy as well as sustainable from an economic, environmental and social perspective. This is what our people expect and what we as elected representatives are required to work to deliver”.

Continuing the new Chairperson  said "I urge all political representatives to continue to unite in the campaign to save the Stroke Services and Breast Cancer Services that are under threat. Working together with all stakeholders we can achieve this”.

The new Chairperson talked about difficulties faced by all “Whilst there are many threats to this district and our communities, most view Brexit as the single greatest threat to this council district in the time ahead. I will commit to working hard with our local and European representatives to ensure the will of the people in this district is respected and the ‘backstop’, as the least worse option, is maintained. Nothing less is acceptable to the people of this district”.

Councillor Casey also highlighted the great community compassion, support  and care that existed throughout the area.

“Newry Mourne & Down can feel rightly proud  of the many Voluntary Groups, Charities, Agencies and individuals who  work day in day out  to help others within our communities, particularly those most vulnerable.

"They do this quietly, professionally and compassionately, out of the limelight. These groups, charities, people don’t just “talk the talk, they walk the walk.

"As Chairperson Of Newry Mourne & Down Council  I can say to them, my door is open, I will help your work in any practical and appropriate way I can”.

Concluding Councillor Casey thanked outgoing Chairperson  Mark Murnin and  Deputy Chairperson Oksana McMahon for their work in their roles during the past year. He also paid tribute to those outgoing Councillors for their contributions.

Rowallane SDLP Councillor Terry Andrews has been selected as Deputy Chairperson.

 

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