Former Bessbrook man elected Mayor of Bolton

June 2, 2014

A Bessbrook man who left the village in search of work as a teenager in 1974 has been elected as the Mayor of Bolton, in the Greater Manchester area of England.

Martin Donaghy was just 17-years-old when he left home to begin an engineering apprenticeship at Roberts Filling Machines.

In the same year, he joined the engineering union and in 1980 was elected to Bolton Council for the Daubhill ward, where he served for 18 years.

Having made a name for himself in politics, the 56-year-old Labour councillor, who represents Tonge with The Haulgh ward, was unanimously elected to the first citizen position during last week.

The 56-year-old works at the Sainsbury’s superstore in Trinity Street, and has taken the unusual step of asking two of his co-workers – Gay Wharton and Jacqueline Tracey – to be his mayoresses for the year.

Speaking after his appointment, Mr Donaghy said: “I’m looking forward to being an ambassador for the town. I’m very proud of Bolton, it’s my adopted town and I want to do as well as I can for the town.

“I wanted Gay and Jacqueline to share in my mayoral year — I felt it was a great opportunity to bring something different to the mayoral table.”

Councillor Donaghy has announced his intention to concentrate on promoting business in his adopted town and had challenged Bolton businesses to take on one apprentice a week during his term.

“I’m going to make a friendly challenge to businesses to appoint one apprentice a week for the next 52 weeks.   It would mean 52 young people in work, learning a trade or skill, after my year in office,” he said.