Fine Gael’s PJ Kelly has been chosen to be co-opted to Laois County Council following the retirement of Tom Mulhall earlier this year.
Mr Kelly, from Ballybrittas, will represent the Grangecullen Portarlington municipal district.
Mr Kelly said: “I will be honoured to serve on Laois County Council and continue on some of the fantastic work of Tom Mulhall.
“I will work hard on local issues such as rural road maintenance, tackling illegal dumping and bringing projects initiated by Tom, like the sewerage system in Ballybrittas, over the line.
“I look forward to working with the people of the area.”
Mr Kelly, a farmer, is treasurer of Courtwood GAA and a former chairman of the club, as well as of St Conleth’s ladies’ football and St Paul’s juvenile club.
Married to May and father to Alison, Rachel and Liam, Mr Kelly is a long-time Fine Gael member and has canvassed for the party for a number of years with current and past TDs including Charlie Flanagan, Martin Heydon, Olwyn Enright and Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy.
Fine Gael Laois Offaly TD, Charlie Flanagan said: “I have known PJ Kelly and his family for many years.
“He is rooted in his local community and will be an excellent Councillor.
“Admittedly, PJ has big shoes to fill succeeding Tom Mulhall but he’s well equipped for the job ahead.
“I look forward to working closely with PJ for the betterment of all in the Portarlington/Graiguecullen area.”
Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Martin Heydon, said: “Congratulations to PJ Kelly on his success in the co-option convention for Tom Mulhall’s council seat.
“Tom leaves a great legacy of community service from his time on Laois county council.
“I look forward to having as close a working relationship with PJ in his term as a member of Laois County council as I did with Tom, to deliver for the people of Portarlington, Killenard and Ballybrittas.“