Bantry councillor Patrick Gerard Murphy to become Mayor of Cork County

Bantry councillor Patrick Gerard Murphy to become Mayor of Cork County
Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy, who is set to become Mayor of Cork County.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

BANTRY-based Patrick Gerard Murphy is set to become the next Mayor of Cork County.

The Fianna Fáil councillor is likely to secure the role of mayor on June 22 under a pact agreed with Independents on the council.

Mr Murphy, who has used a wheelchair since a car crash in 1993, works as manager with National Learning Network in Bantry which delivers certified training programmes for people with disabilities.

The councillor said, if elected, he plans to highlight everyday physical obstacles that people with disabilities face when trying to navigate the streets of towns and villages.

In advance of being elected, County Hall is making preparations to provide a driver who would be available to the councillor, when required, for events and meetings.

One of the largest local authorities in the country, an elected mayor in Cork county can cover tens of thousands of kilometres, mainly outside of normal work hours.

With Cork City Council traditionally providing a driver for the Lord Mayor, the idea of having a full-time driver at County Hall was mooted several years ago by a number of councillors who highlighted health and safety issues, particularly for elected mayors travelling from some parts of West Cork across the sprawling county.

By contrast, the City Hall office holder covers a a more compact electoral area.

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