A poll-topping councillor in West Cork has been elected the Mayor of the County of Cork.
Clonakilty-born Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan (37) was a law graduate from the University of Limerick.
A Fianna Fail councillor, he has been elected three times since his co-option in 2007 following his father Christy’s election to Dáil Éireann.
An Independent councillor, Macroom's Martin Coughlan, a former Labour Party councillor, was elected Deputy Mayor this afternoon in Cork County Hall.
Mayor O’Sullivan has been a Fianna Fáil Councillor with Cork County Council since he was co-opted in 2007 following his father Christy’s election to Dáil Éireann.
In his home town, Mayor O’Sullivan has seen his profile go from strength to strength following a very successful three-year term as chairperson of Clonakilty Chamber of Commerce.
The mayor said he had“placed a significant emphasis on developing tourism initiatives for Clonakilty town as well as the surrounding region with key projects delivered such as the Clonakilty Greenway and Castlefreke Rathbarry walkway.
“As a member of Cork County Council, I have always placed enormous importance on community, and supporting community festivals and events such as the fantastic Clonakilty Street Carnival.”
Also an avid wildlife enthusiast and bird watcher, he was one of the inaugural guides with the popular Atlantic Whale and Wildlife tours based in Courtmacsherry.
Established in 2018, the tours have been very successful in terms of both visitor numbers and the variety of species spotted such as Humpback Whales, Fin Whales, Minke Whales and common dolphins.
The mayor said his environmental interests will be a particular focus during his term: “Climate change and environmentalism are very high on my agenda and I consider this to be an opportune time to promote a number of initiatives, including changes to our fleet, with hybrid and electric vehicles and installing water bottle refilling stations across our county.
“This is going to be a very important year for this new council and, during my term, I am determined to identify and avail of new opportunities, market Cork and continue the proud record Cork County Council has of supporting and engaging with our wonderful county communities. "
"I am going to put on the Cork County Jersey and be a Mayor for the entire county. I am most looking forward to this position and will endeavour to serve the people of Cork with commitment and dedication.”
A tripartite agreement between Fianna Fail, Labour and Independents denied Fine Gael control of office of the mayor over the next five years.
Mayor O'Sullivan, in a contest, defeated Fine Gael's Cllr Noel McCarthy 27-21, with seven councillors abstaining.
The pact ensures the chain of office will pass next year to Cllr Mary Linehan-Foley (Ind) followed by councillors Gillian Coughlan (FF) Bandon, Danny Collins (Ind) Bantry and Frank O'Flynn (FF) Glanworth.
By a similar margin, deputy mayor Mr Coughlan defeated FG's Anthony Barry.