Since announcing my retirement from Laois County Council on health grounds recently, I have been reflecting on my almost 13 years as a local Councillor.
There are many people I would like to thank who have supported me throughout this period and because of my illness and Covid restrictions I have been unable to do so in person just yet.
Working as a member of Laois County Council and representing the people of my area was always an honour.
I would like to thank the staff across all areas of the Council who work very hard to support our communities. A special word of thanks to Chief Executive John Mulholland.
My colleagues on the Council, of all parties and none, have always been a pleasure to work with and I always enjoyed the discussions, debates and sometimes disagreements.
I wish you all the very best of luck for the remainder of this Council term and beyond.
To my supporters and canvassers at election time, who were always at the other end of the phone and ready and willing to put up posters and drop leaflets, I will always be grateful and thank you for your commitment to local politics.
I want to thank my Fine Gael colleagues, at Council, Constituency and National level who have supported me, especially in recent times.
To neighbours, friends and constituents who have contacted me and sent get well cards, I cannot tell you how grateful I am for your encouraging words and good wishes. I look forward to seeing you all soon.
Finally, I want to thank my family, my brother Eamon and sister Ann and their families, my children Una and Niall, and especially my wife Bridget who has always been my greatest supporter and is now making sure I make as full a recovery as possible.