Fine Gael's Councillor Mary Howard has been elected Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council at the annual  general meeting of the council this afternoon.

She takes over from Fianna Fáil Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy who had held the position of Cathaoirleach on the departure of Cathal Crowe, who departed the position when he was elected as a TD for Clare in February.

Cllr Howard said it was a lifelong dream and a privilege to represent her county and its citizens. She paid tribute to her late father Michael Howard who was a Fine Gael Senator for many years

Her Fine Gael party colleague Cllr Pat Burke was elected Leas Cathaoirleach.

It is understood to be the first time that Fine Gael has held both positions on the 28-member council.