OUTGOING county mayor Mary Linehan-Foley was bid a fond farewell on Friday, while a warm welcome awaited the newly elected Gillian Coughlan as she stepped into the hot seat for the coming year.
Fianna Fáil councillor Seamus McGrath said Ms Linehan-Foley has had an “outstanding year”.
Describing her style of leadership in meetings, Mr McGrath said the former mayor “chaired forcefully at times” but “it was needed”.
Independent councillor Declan Hurley said Ms Linehan-Foley “dealt with a challenge no other mayor had to deal with” and said she took it on.
“You were the right mayor, in the right place, at the right time,” he said.
Ms Linehan-Foley described her time at the helm as the fastest, most extraordinary year of her life.
Following warm words wishing Ms Linehan-Foley well, West Cork Fianna Fáil councillor Gillian Coughlan was unanimously elected as the new county mayor.
Labour councillor Cathal Rasmussen, from Cobh, was elected to take the seat as deputy mayor for the coming political year.
Ms Coughlan, who represents the Bandon- Kinsale Municipal District, has a long career working with her local community and representing the people of Bandon.
Ms Coughlan stated at the county council’s annual general meeting that her initial priority will be to support the people and businesses of Cork County as Ireland emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Recognising that lockdowns have been very difficult on people psychologically, socially, emotionally, and financially, Ms Coughlan said:
“There has been an incredible show of resilience and solidarity in all sectors of society in Cork County, and Cork County Council, together with the county’s voluntary and statutory agencies, have played a vital role in supporting people.
“It is essential that as we move forward together, we don’t leave anyone behind.”