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One of Laois’s longest serving politicians announces plans to retire

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John Moran

One of Laois’s longest serving politicians has revealed that he will not contest the 2019 Local Elections.

Fine Gael Councillor for the Portarlington/Graiguecullen District John Moran has told LaoisToday that he will not seek re-election next year.

It will bring to an end a 28-year political career that began in 1991 when he was successful in the election for the then Local Electoral Area of Luggacurren.

Speaking to LaoisToday, Moran, who lives near Ballylinan, told how he is now 70-years-old and feels it is time for someone else.

He said: “I am 70 now and I feel I have done my bit so it is time for someone new to come along.

“I’ve served as chairman of the Council itself once and chairman of my district on a number of occasions and loved every bit of it.

“But I had kind of decided after I got re-elected in 2014 that I would finish at the end of this term.”

After Moran was first elected in 1991, he topped the poll in Luggacurran in 1999 and 2004 before finishing second in 2009.

John ran in the General Election in 2011 as Charlie Flanagan’s running mate and received over 4,000 votes.

But looking back on his career now, Moran revealed that the period he enjoyed the most was when he was Cathaoirleach in 2007/08.

He said: “That was a brilliant time. It was at the height of the boom just before the recession hit and we were opening something new every week.

In good company: Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan TD; Anna May McHugh, NPA Managing Director, and Cllr John Moran Exhibition area supervisor on site at Ratheniska, Co. Laois for the launch of the national ploughing championships in 2015

“We opened libraries in Abbeyleix and Durrow, parks, playgrounds and fire stations all over the county.

“We had the official opening of the Portlaoise Leisure Centre that year too and legendary Irish goalkeeper Packie Bonner came down to that.

“I was flat out going all over the place for that year but I enjoyed every minute of it and I met some great people.

“I went to America that year for St Patrick’s Day and we twinned with a group over there which was very interesting.”

In again: John Moran iis raised high after his election to Laois County Council in 2004

John is heavily involved in the National Ploughing Association and says he will continue with them.

He also says that none of his family members or anyone from his local Fine Gael branch have put themselves forward to replace him as yet.

And to sum up a political career that spanned almost three decades, John says that being able to make a meaningful difference in a person’s life is the greatest feeling of them all.

He said: “Being able to help people – that was the thing that gave me greatest joy over the years.

“The feeling of actually being able to make a meaningful difference to a person’s life.

“Whether it was getting someone a house or even something so simple as having a drain fixed or a pothole filled. Just to be able to do something that benefits someone else is a great thing.

“And I’d also like to thank my family who have backed me every step of the way.”

Check out a selection of photos from Alf Harvey’s archives below.

Stepping it out: Cathaoirlech of Laois County Council John Moran and Laois Rose Stephanie Farrell have a waltz to the music from the Portlaoise Accordian Band at the official opening of the Portlaoise Civic Plaza in 2008
Chain gang: John Moran with Mayor of Portlaoise Rotimi Adebari and Joe Melia, chairman Mountmellick Town Council at the official opening of the Portlaoise Civic Plaza in 2008
Calling the shots: Exhibition co-ordinator John Moran at the National Ploughing Championahips at Athy in 2010.

Poll toppers; Sitting Fine Gael Councillors and Luggacurren councillors James Daly and John Moran after their election at the Portlaoise Count Centre in 2009
Family man: Cllr John Moran (Fine Gael) celebrates with family and friends at Portlaoise Count Centre in 2009
Proud as punch: Fine Gael’s Cllr John Moran is congratulated by his son Mark at Portlaoise Count Centre in 2009
Old stock: John Moran with his Fine Gael council colleague  Marty Phelan at the Portlaoise Lions Club, Laois Branch National Council for the Blind Dance at the Montague Hotel in 2004
Looking good: Models Aisling Byrne and Laura O’Shea with Cllr John Moran, Exhibition co-ordinator at Cardenton, Athy, for the launch of the National Championships in 2011
Party colleagues: Councillors John Moran and James Deegan who were both returned for Fine gael celebrate with Deputy Olwyn Enright in 2004
Man of the moment: John Moran (Fine Gael) elected at the Laois Count Centre in 2014
On the job: Cllr John Moran and local resident Aishling Whelan looking for the rare weed beside the collapsed wall at Ballykilleen Bridge in Killeshin in 2010
Generation game: Exhibition supervisor John Moran and his grandson John Moran busy at Ratheniska, Co Laois in preparation for the National Ploughing Championships in 2013

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