Councillor Azad Talukder makes history in Limerick politics. Picture: Maria Keating
Councillor Azad Talukder made history this week becoming the first-ever Muslim to be elected as Cathaoirleach of Limerick Metropolitan Council
Fianna Fail Councillor Azad Talukder has made history by becoming the new leader of Limerick’s metropolitan district, making him the first-ever Muslim to be elected as Cathaoirleach of Limerick Metropolitan Council.
The businessman and taxi driver, Councillor Azad Talukder was elected as Cathaoirleach of Limerick Metropolitan Council at the Limerick Metropolitan Annual General Meeting held on Monday, June 19, winning 13 votes out of 20 on the day. In 2019, Cllr Talukder made history by becoming the first Muslim councillor elected to Limerick City and County Council, and has previously held the position of Deputy Mayor.
Cllr Talukder was nominated by his party colleague, Cllr James Collins who served as Mayor of Limerick City and County Council in 2018, and was seconded by his other party colleague, Cllr Catherine Slattery.
Having been elected as Cathaoirleach of Limerick Metropolitan Council he thanked the people of Limerick who elected him as a councillor, “from a different background, beyond the colour, ethnicity and religion”.
In his first speech as Cathaoirleach, Cllr Talukder thanked the support of his family saying he “simply couldn’t have done it” without the support of his wife Shahana and two daughters.
As well as thanking the electorate of Limerick, Cllr Talukder paid tribute to his late friend and colleague, Jerry O’Dea, who he says was a “true friend” of his in both politics and in his personal life.
The position was contested at Monday’s meeting by the Green Party’s Saša Novak who was seconded by party-colleague, Sean Hartigan.
Having been elected as Cathaoirleach of Limerick Metropolitan Council, Cllr Talukder has received congratulations from colleagues from his own party and others, with Limerick Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan saying on Twitter, “Great to meet newly elected Limerick Metropolitan Mayor ‘Jackie’ after his election today – a very positive and historic move today as Limerick’s first Muslim mayor – On a personal note I wish him the best for his year ahead as he works for everyone in the City.”
Social Democrats Limerick City also sent a message of congratulations on Twitter saying, “Congratulations to the new Cathaoirleach of Limerick Metropolitan Council Cllr @AzadTalukder_FF – a wonderful piece of #limerick history made today.”