New county mayor pledges to tackle housing delivery in Cork

New county mayor pledges to tackle housing delivery in Cork
New County Mayor Mary Linehan Foley with Cork County Council chief executive Tim Lucey and outgoing mayor Ian Doyle.

YOUGHAL councillor Mary Linehan Foley has been elected County Mayor and quoted Steve Jobs, Hilary Clinton and Michelle Obama in her acceptance speech.

Mrs Linehan Foley, was proposed by Independent councillor Declan Hurley and seconded by Fianna Fáil councillor Seamus McGrath. There was no other candidate contesting the position.

Mr Hurley described Mrs Linehan Foley as a very hardworking, community-based councillor who was “well received and well respected.” 

Mr McGrath said Mrs Linehan Foley was a “heartfelt and genuine public representative,” who gets her point across “sometimes subtle, sometimes not so subtle.” 

Speaking as County Mayor Mrs Linehan Foley quoted Steve Jobs, Hilary Clinton and Michelle Obama as she laid out her intentions for the council year ahead.

“Delivery of housing is probably the biggest challenge we face. I am committed to tackling this.” Mrs Linehan Foley also said community groups and volunteers are the lifeblood of society and she would be working hard to ensure their survival following the Coronavirus pandemic.

Mrs Linehan Foley finished her speech with a quote from Michelle Obama who she said she admires greatly.

"Success isn't about how much money you make it is about making a difference in people’s lives."

Councillor Linehan Foley had been the Mayor of Youghal on three occasions before Town Councils were abolished and she was also the first woman to hold the position.

The councillor was originally a Fianna Fáil representative, but left the party in 2014 after she was overlooked for a party nomination in the local elections.

Elected to Youghal Town Council in 1999, the married mother of five has a long time involvement with politics as her father was a public representative for 43 years.

Last year’s elected County Mayor, Fianna Fáil’s Christopher O’Sullivan was replaced by his colleague Ian Doyle after the General Election when he was voted into the Dāil.

Independent councillor and deputy County Mayor Martin Coughlan passed on the chain to West Cork Fianna Fáil Councillor Joe Carroll.

Outgoing Mayor Ian Doyle bowed out with an endearing speech where he described becoming mayor a week before the coronavirus pandemic and the challenges that brought.

Mr Doyle thanked the councillors, which he described as being like a family, for their support, along with support from the council staff and chief executive Tim Lucey.

As his final act as Mayor, Mr Doyle announced that he had been given a face mask by a Cork-based mask maker Francis Clarke and said there was a mask for every councillor with their names inscribed on them available to collect at County Hall.

Fianna Fáil Councillor Seamus McGrath commended Mr Doyle’s predecessor Christopher O’Sullivan for his green initiatives and Mr Doyle for his steady leadership throughout the Covid pandemic.

“You became Mayor at a time of great uncertainty, it was very challenging, but you were always at the end of the phone and you always consulted us and you did so in an excellent manner.” The Charleville-based councillor was described as a gentleman by a number of councillors.

Green Party Councillor Alan O’Connor said it was a pleasure to work alongside Mr Doyle and said he served the office with distinction.

Independent Marcia D'Alton said Mr Doyle smiled throughout the difficult times that he faced and said she was very grateful for his leadership.

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