Thatto Heath ward councillor Pat Ireland has been announced as the new Mayor of St Helens for 2018-19.
Born and bred in Knowsley Road, Councillor Ireland was first elected onto the council in 1998 to represent the then Queens Park ward - which she did so for four years – before becoming ward councillor for Thatto Heath in 2011 where she lives with her husband, John, who she first met in 1984.
After completing her studies at Cowley Girls’ Grammar School, Coun Ireland was employed and trained in the secretarial school by Pilkington Brothers and went on to work in the audio typing pool.
Most of Councillor Ireland’s career was spent in administration which saw her undertake roles in the offices of Lennons Supermarkets Ltd and the council’s Leisure and Recreation department.
Coun Ireland and John married in 1991 and although the couple did not have any children of their own, John took Pat’s two daughters from a previous marriage, Sian and Susan, on as his own and they have three grandchildren together; Marc, Kate and James – as well as three great grandchildren; Grace, James and Max.
Looking forward to her year as Mayor, Coun Ireland said: “It’s a great privilege to be appointed Mayor of my hometown, especially during its 150th anniversary which makes the honour even more special.
“I can’t wait to get started and I’m very much looking forward to getting out into our communities to meet so many of the borough’s inspirational people and groups that do incredible work for the benefit of St Helens."
During her year as Mayor, Coun Ireland has chosen former Windle ward councillor Lynn Glover to stand alongside her by taking on the role as Mayoress - and together the friends will look to raise funds for the Diabetes Centre in St Helens Hospital and the Steve Prescott Foundation.
Commenting on his time as Mayor for 2017-18, outgoing Mayor, Coun Joe Pearson - who over the past year has attended over 360 public engagements, said: “The past 12 months have been the busiest but the best I’ve ever known, and me and my wife Sylvia are truly grateful to have held this prestigious status.
“To be given the opportunity to serve as Mayor and Mayoress of this remarkable town is something you simply can’t turn down as it really is a once in a lifetime experience from which the memories gained will live with us forever."
This year’s Mayor Making ceremony also saw Sutton ward councillor Janet Johnson named Deputy Mayor for 2018-19.