New Cork councillors take their seats at County Hall

New Cork councillors take their seats at County Hall
Ross O'Connell, a Goleen based PHD Researcher, was today co-opted into Holly Cairns council seat at the full council meeting held at county hall. Ms Cairns seat became vacant after she was elected to Dáil Eireann in the recent general election. Picture: Andy Gibson.

Four new councillors and a new Mayor took their place at the County Council on Monday morning following the success of four TDs elected to the Dáil in the General Elections.

Fianna Fáil co-opted three women to the chamber while the Social Democrats brought a man.

Fianna Fáil Councillor Ian Doyle was successfully nominated and selected as the County Mayor for the remainder of the year, taking Christopher O’Sullivan’s vacated seat, following an impassioned speech by Party leader Seamus McGrath.

Mr Doyle said it was a tremendous honour to be chosen as the new County Mayor. 

“It is a pure privilege to be a member of the Cork County Council and to serve the people of Cork," he said. 

Mr Doyle said that the chain of Mayor represents the communities they serve as well as Cork County Council.

“I thank everyone for their support and for this honour.” 

Social Democrat Holly Cairns was at County Hall to show new Social Democrat Councillor Ross O’Connell the ropes.

Deputy Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Martin Coughlan, newly elected Mayor of County of Cork Cllr. Ian Doyle & Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey. Pic: Richard Coleman – AP
Deputy Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Martin Coughlan, newly elected Mayor of County of Cork Cllr. Ian Doyle & Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey. Pic: Richard Coleman – AP

Mr O’Connell is a 29-year-old PhD student and environmental scientist from Goleen.

Speaking about Mr O’Connell, TD Ms Cairns said: “I know he cares about West Cork and its future as much as I do. He's committed to continuing the job of keeping Cork County Council as transparent as possible and so much more.

“Ross will continue to give updates from the council and will join me on the “Inside The Chamber” podcast.”

 The Fianna Fáil party co-opted the sister of MEP Billy Kelleher, Sheila O Callaghan to the seat of Padraig O'Sullivan to the Cobh Municipal District. Mr O’Sullivan was also in the chamber on Monday.

In the chamber, Ms O’Callaghan said: “I am honoured and privileged to be elected and I look forward to working with everyone here.” 

Margaret Murphy O’Mahony’s parliamentary assistant Deirdre Kelly was chosen as the replacement for Christopher O’Sullivan’s seat in West Cork.

Ms Kelly said: “I learned a lot at from my time as a parliamentary assistant and I hope to put that knowledge to good use in the council.” 

Fianna Fāil Party Leader Seamus McGrath said he had no doubt she will be an exceptional councillor in the county.

The final replacement was Ann Marie Ahern taking the seat of Fianna Fáil's James O’Connor, who last week became the youngest TD to take a seat in the 33rd Dāil.

Deirdre Kelly was today co-opted into Christopher O'Sullivan's council seat at the full council meeting held at county hall. Mr. O'Sullivan's seat became vacant after he was elected to Dáil Eireann in the recent general election. Picture: Andy Gibson.
Deirdre Kelly was today co-opted into Christopher O'Sullivan's council seat at the full council meeting held at county hall. Mr. O'Sullivan's seat became vacant after he was elected to Dáil Eireann in the recent general election. Picture: Andy Gibson.

Annmarie Ahern is someone with a long association with community involvement and politics and the niece of former junior minister Michael Ahern, from the Cork East Constituency.

Her father, Maurice Ahern was a Fianna Faáil councillor for the Midleton area from 1979 to 2009.

Speaking in the chamber, Ms Ahern said: “I’m a fourth-generation in Cork County Council, following in the footsteps of my father, grandfather and great grandfather. I’m looking forward to working with everyone here.”

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