Cork County Council has elected a new mayor and welcomed four new councillors who were co-opted onto the local authority to replace members who have been elected to the Dáil.
Fianna Fáil’s Ian Doyle, a fuel merchant from Charleville, was elected as mayor of Cork, taking over the chain of office from Christopher O’Sullivan, who was elected to the Dáil, representing Cork South-West.
Cllr Ian Doyle elected Mayor of the County of Cork. The Fianna Fáil member hails from North Cork and served previously as Deputy Mayor. Mayor Doyle highlighted how in last 7 years serving constituents has been uppermost in Council activities which he plans to continue 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/OlxUtNGhWN— Cork County Council (@Corkcoco) February 24, 2020
Mr Doyle, who has a long track record working for the St Vincent de Paul charity was proposed for the position by Seamus McGrath, the leader of Fianna Fáil on the council, who described him as “an exceptional community activist” and said he has “no doubt he will fill the role in an exceptional manner”.
He was elected unopposed thanks to a pact between Fianna Fáil, the Independents, and Labour.
Mr Doyle said he was first elected to the council six years ago, which “was one of the greatest days of my life”.
“It is a pure privilege to represent the people of Cork, especially North Cork,” he said. “It is an honour to wear this chain.”
Mr Doyle will hold the chain of office for the next four months until another mayoral election takes place in County Hall in June.
Annmarie Ahern, the daughter of Maurice Ahern, who served 30 years as a county councillor, was one of those co-opted. The niece of former junior minister Michael Ahern, she is taking the place of newly elected Fianna Fáil TD James O’Connor, who won a seat in Cork East.
The 37-year-old works as an auctioneer in Midleton and is a qualified mediator.
Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher’s sister, Sheila O’Callaghan, was co-opted to replace Pádraig O’Sullivan now a Fianna Fáil TD, for the Cork North Central constituency. She lives in Watergrasshill and is a farmer.
The replacement for first-time Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns, who was elected in Cork South-West is Ross O’Connell. The 29-year-old from Goleen is an environmental scientist working in UCC as a wave and tidal energy researcher.
Deirdre Kelly, former Fianna Fáil TD Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony’s parliamentary assistant, replaces Mr O’Sullivan.
Ms Kelly was appointed as Ms Murphy-O’Mahony’s parliamentary assistant four years ago and wished her former boss the best of luck in the forthcoming Seanad elections.
Ms Ahern said she is the fourth generation of the Ahern clan who has served as a councillor, while Mr O’Connor said he is delighted with the warm welcome he received.