A former Lord Mayor of Cork will not contest next year’s local elections.
Fine Gael Cllr John Buttimer cited the pressure of balancing work commitments with the increasingly full-time nature of local politics.
A psychologist with the Cope Foundation, he has represented the south west ward since his co-option onto Cork City Council in 2007 to replace his brother, Senator Jerry Buttimer.
He confirmed his decision in correspondence sent to party members earlier today.
He is the third member of the city council - after Fianna Fáil Cllr Tom O’Driscoll and Solidarity Cllr Marion O’Sullivan - to confirm they will not contest next May’s local elections.
More councillors are expected to make similar announcements over the coming weeks.
In his letter to party members, Mr Buttimer said he had made the decision with a “huge sense of regret”. But he said the role of a local public representative is becoming more and more professional and fulltime.
“I have struggled to balance the requirements of work with the duties and expectations of a public representative,” he said.
The proposed boundary changes with an expanded local electoral area from 2019 will make that task even more challenging.
“I remain committed to Fine Gael and to supporting the party to deliver three seats in our electoral area in May 2019.
“I will continue to work closely with Senator Jerry Buttimer to ensure Fine Gael wins two seats at the next general election.”
Mr Buttimer was co-opted onto the council in 2007 and was subsequently re-elected in 2009 and 2014.
During his term as Lord Mayor across 2012 and 2013, he was diagnosed with and treated for Hodgkin lymphoma.
Despite undergoing an intense course of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, he continued to perform his mayoral duties.