ONE of the longest serving members of Cork City Council has confirmed that he will not seek re-election at next year's local elections.
Fianna Fáil councillor Tom O'Driscoll confirmed to the Evening Echo that he has asked not to be considered for the ticket in Cork South-Central at the 2019 local elections, which will take place at the end of May.
Mr O'Driscoll was first elected to Cork City Council in 1991 and has served all but five years since. Losing his seat in 2009, he was reelected in 2014 to serve on the current council. He also served as the Lord Mayor of Cork in 2001-2002.
Mr O'Driscoll informed party members at a meeting earlier this week.
"People respected the decision," he said.
"I made my mind up finally; there comes a time when you have to make a decision. Everything comes to an end. It has been a great privilege to serve for so long as a councillor and, indeed, as Lord Mayor."
Mr O'Driscoll is one of several councillors unlikely to contest next year's elections in the expanded Cork City Council local authority area.
Under the new arrangments, areas such as Douglas, Ballincollig and Glanmire will come into the city boundary but there will be no increase in the number of serving councillors. As a result, the 2019 local election is shaping up to be hotly contested in many areas, with many sitting county councillors set to seek to retain their seats in city areas.
He said that the changes to the city boundary were a factor but not the only reason to not seek a nomination.
"It would have been a new challenge," he said.
"You take stock every time an election comes around and this is no different. But, I learned that there is life outside politics during my time off the council so I am looking forward to new challenges."
Formerly a communications lecturer at St John's College of Further Education, Mr O'Driscoll took early retirement from this role earlier this year.