Laois’s newest county Councillor has been elected as chairman of the Portlaoise Municipal District.
Ballyroan native Barry Walsh was only co-opted as a Councillor in February following the retirement of Mary Sweeney.
The Fine Gael man was nominated for the role by Thomasina Connell and seconded by Willie Aird.
Sinn Fein’s Caroline Dwane-Stanley proposed Labour’s Noel Tuohy so a vote was called with Walsh winning 5-2.
Speaking following his election, Cllr Walsh said: “I want to thank my fellow Councillors for electing me to this position.
“I am honoured and I want to thank everyone for how they have supported me since last February.
“The staff and my fellow Councillors have helped me find my feet and I really appreciate that.”
All Councillors and members of the Council also paid tribute to outgoing chair John Joe Fennelly and cited his fairness in the role.
An election then took place for the role of vice-chair with Fianna Fail’s Catherine Fitzgerald defeating Sinn Fein’s Caroline Dwane-Stanley 5-2.
Mr Walsh, who is aged in his early 40s and is a self-employed Quantity Surveyor, has been involved in numerous community projects in the Ballyroan area.
Educated in Ballyroan BNS and Heywood, he lives in the area with his wife and three young children.
He is the current chairman of Ballyroan-Abbey juvenile GAA club and vice-chairman of the adult club.
He has also been heavily involved with the field development in the local GAA facilities as well as a key figure in organising Ballyroan’s country music festivals in recent years.