The newly elected Kerry County Council are meeting for the first in Tralee today and while it’s a big day for all concerned one man has been waiting 16 years for this very day.

Photographed by Don MacMonagle in 2003, the almost prophetic picture above was re-created today when Jackie attended his first Kerry County Council meeting as an elected Councillor. On his debut electoral campaign he topped the pole in the Castleisland municipal district with a whopping 2,621 votes – 784 votes over the 1,837 quota.

Speaking about the influence politics had on him as he was growing up Jackie said “I had four siblings and politics was always going to catch one of us and it caught me, my grandfather Jackie was elected in ’97 when I was two years old, and my father was elected in ’99 when I was four, so it was always around me,” he said.

Speaking about his childhood hanging around the Kerry County Council chamber he said “My father would bring me to the council AGM every June because I loved it, and I’d get the day off school and the mayor would take people out for dinner after… I thought was great”

All 33 councillors are attendance in County Buildings today for the election of the Cathaoirleach and Leas-Cathaoirleach of Kerry.

The newly-elected Kerry County Council comprises of 10 Fianna Fáil members, 9 Independents, 7 Fine Gael members, 4 from Sinn Féin, two from Labour and one from the Kerry Independent Alliance.

After a very successful reign as Mayor of Killarney last year it looks like Fianna Fail’s Cllr Niall Kelleher is set to be put forward today to become Cathaoirleach of Kerry.