Fianna Fáil Councillor Seamus McGrath has been elected as the new mayor of County Cork after defeating Sinn Féin’s Michael ‘Frick’ Murphy by 29 votes to seven.

As the married father of one, 41, took the chain of office, his older brother, TD Michael McGrath, and other family members proudly looked on.

His election was assured due to a pact between Fianna Fáil and Independents.

Fine Gael didn’t put forward a candidate and abstained from voting.

Sinn Féin’s leader on the council, Des O’Grady, said the position of mayor should be decided directly by the people of the county.

Mr McGrath took over the office from outgoing mayor John Paul O’Shea (Ind), who said he was honoured to have served in the position for the past year, during which time he visited many projects which the council was involved in, including the development of Spike Island and Mallow Castle as tourist attractions.

Mr McGrath was co-opted onto the council in 2007 when his brother was elected to the Dáil and was leader of Fianna Fáil on the council for the past two years.

The new mayor, who has a batchelor of commerce degree from UCC, said he’s glad to have strong support from his family, which will help him do the job.

Mr McGrath said the council is now engaging with the public more than it ever did and is providing more diverse services, which are widening its relevance in terms of economic development and tourism.

He said the most pressing issue was the housing crisis and he would do anything he could to help get it resolved.

The position of deputy mayor went to Kevin Conway (Ind). His election was uncontested after both Sinn Féin and Fine Gael said they wouldn’t be putting up candidates.


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