SINN Féin’s Mick Nugent has said he is “delighted to be back on Cork City Council” following his co-option to fill Thomas Gould's vacated seat.
He was co-opted, after being chosen by his party, at a special meeting of Cork City Council on Monday evening at City Hall.
Councillor Nugent takes his place as the Sinn Féin representative for the North West Local Area after Mr Gould was elected to the Dáil in the recent General Election.
Mr Nugent had been a Councillor for the better part of a decade until he lost his seat in the local elections in May 2019.
“I’m delighted to be back on Cork City Council. I’m still working away since the local elections within the party. My constituents would still be in contact with me anyway,” Mr Nugent told The Echo.
Since losing his council seat last year, Mr Nugent has remained an active Sinn Féin campaigner in Cork city - and was Director of Elections for Thomas Gould in the recent general election, after which Deputy Gould said: “Mick Nugent won this election. He was out morning, noon and night.” This is not the first time Mick Nugent has been co-opted onto Cork City Council - he was initially co-opted following Jonathan O’Brien’s election to the Dail in 2011.
“Similarly I would have been his campaign director,” Mick said. “I was elected in my own right in 2014 for the North West Ward,” he added.
He lost his council seat after switching from the North West ward to the North East to run alongside Mandy O’Leary Hegarty for the party in 2019.
He said that switching areas may have played a part, but that a low turn-out of their voters and boundary changes also affected the outcome last May. However, he feels the tide is now changing for Sinn Féin.
“There was a balance in the General Election. Most of our core support came out, and we got a lot of first-time voters across the constituency,” he said.
Mick Nugent’s co-option to Cork City Council was swift in the wake of Thomas Gould’s election, as the Council have to register their membership to the Clerk of the Seanad by February 26. That’s due to the upcoming Seanad elections where councillors have a vote in one of the panels.