New Chair for Council

Published: 9th June 2016

At the Annual General Meeting of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council on Tuesday 7 June 2016 Councillor Mary Garrity was elected as Chair for the incoming year, while Councillor Bert Wilson was elected Vice-Chair.

Councillor Garrity, an SDLP representative from the West Tyrone Electoral Area, was nominated by her party’s Nominating Officer Councillor Brendan Gallagher. Councillor Wilson was nominated to the position of Vice-Chair by the UUP Nominating Officer, Councillor Alex Baird.

The following were elected as Chairs of the Council’s Standing Committees:

Environmental Services               Cllr Stephen McCann

Regeneration & Community      Cllr Victor Warrington

Policy & Resources                         Cllr Sean Clarke

Planning                                             Cllr Barry McNally


The members of the Planning Committee were elected as follows:

Cllr Barry McNally (Chair)

Cllr Glenn Campbell

Cllr Tommy Maguire

Cllr Brian McCaffrey

Cllr Barry Doherty

Cllr Mary Garrity

Cllr John Coyle

Cllr Brendan Gallagher

Cllr Paul Robinson

Cllr Errol Thompson

Cllr Robert Irvine

Cllr Howard Thornton

Cllr Allan Rainey

Accepting the Chair of the Council, Councillor Garrity thanked her party colleague, saying that it is a privilege to be nominated and an honour to represent the party and the Council for the coming year. She welcomed the two new councillors, Garbhan McPhillips and Diane Armstrong who replaced former councillors Richie McPhillips and Rosemary Barton following their election as representatives at Stormont. Councillor Garrity wished the new MLAs well and said she looked forward to working with the MLAs for the benefit of the people of the Fermanagh and Omagh District. “There are many challenges to be faced in the year ahead but with the strong support of our elected representatives I hope it will be a positive and fruitful one for the district”, she added.

Prior to vacating the Chair, the outgoing Chairman of the Council, Councillor Thomas O’Reilly gave the annual address in which he highlighted the challenges and achievements of the Council during the past year, the inaugural year of the new Fermanagh and Omagh District Council. Commending the work of fellow councillors and employees of the Council he said that together they had ensured that “the quality of service which the ratepayers had been used to in the legacy Councils was upheld and that the change has been largely seamless”.

He also referred to the launch during the year of the Corporate Plan for the Council, which sets out the strategic vision for the term of the Council and the ethos of continuous improvement which is very much at the heart of all the Council does, as well as the development of the Community Plan which the Council sees as the cornerstone for the future wellbeing of the people of the district.

Councillor O’Reilly went on to highlight many of the key events during his year in office, from the opening of key infrastructural developments such as the OASIS Plaza in Omagh and the Castle Basin Walk in Enniskillen, and vehicle maintenance facilities in both Gortrush and Killyvilly Depots, to civic events such as the switching on of the Christmas Lights in both Omagh and Enniskillen.

Referring to the many receptions which he hosted during the year, the Chairman considered that the two which made the greatest impression on him were the reception for the Children from Belarus who come every year to the District as part of the Children of Chernobyl project and are just a joy to have around, and the final reception, which he hosted jointly with the Vice Chairman, for the Young Achievers. It was, he said, “one of the most uplifting, as we were able to honour young people from across the entire district who have attained significant achievement during our term of office.  We both felt that it was a fitting high point on which to end our term”.

Before concluding his speech Councillor O’Reilly paid tribute to the outgoing Vice-Chairman, Councillor Paul Robinson, expressing his appreciation for the excellent support he received from him over the past year, saying that he was “an excellent ambassador for the district and an able deputy who has carried out his engagements with great dignity and professionalism”.



For further information please contact Elizabeth Harkin, tel: 0300 303 1777 or email

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