Cllr John Mulvihill who announced his resignation from Cork County Council at Monday‚Äôs meeting.
TRIBUTES were paid by ‘shocked’ members of Cork County Council at their meeting on Monday to Labour councillor John Mulvihill, who announced his resignation.
The 68 year old Cobh man served for many years on his local town council and was a representative for Midleton electoral area in County Hall since 1991.
A native of Shanagolden, Co Limerick, he was also elected to Dail Eireann (1992 to 1997) and served on the South West Regional Authority, the Port of Cork, Cork County VEC and other bodies.
However, he is best known as the man who fought passionately, and continues to do so, for the removal of toxic waste from the former Irish Steel plant at Haulbowline, highlighting the higher than average cancer rate in the harbour area and for years of campaigning for the upgrading of the Fota Road, which some councillors remarked, should be re-named after him, if ever the project is completed.
Speaking to the press after he left the chamber to a standing ovation, Cllr Mulvihill said he resigned primarily because he was disillusioned over the failure, despite repeated promises by successive governments, to devolve more powers to local authorities and also believed it was time for a younger person to take over. He was accompanied in the chamber by two of his sons John, a Cobh TC member and Stephen, neither of whom has indicated any interest in filling the seat by co-option.
There were tributes from deputy leader of the Labour Party on the county council, Cllr Noel McCarthy; Fine Gael leader Cllr Kevin Murphy; Fianna Fail leader Alan Coleman; Cllr Michelle Hennessy of Sinn Fein; Cllr Noel Collins on behalf of Independents; Cllr Mulvihill’s colleague from Cobh, Cllr Sean O’Connor (Ind), County Mayor Noel O’Connor (FG) and nearly every other member present as well as on behalf of the staff from acting county manager Mr Declan Daly.
Members said that when Cllr John ‘Cobh’ Mulvihill spoke, people listened because he always spoke from the heart with passion and sincerity, especially on behalf of the people of Cobh for whom he had achieved a lot.
He was always held in high esteem, a good friend to many and would be a huge loss, especially to Labour in East Cork. Cllr Barbara Murray (FG) also remarked that he was half the man he was when he became a councillor, having successfully shed many stone, and looked fantastic.
Returning thanks, Cllr Mulvihill said it was a joy to work with councillors and officials past and present.
The former county mayor said he enjoyed most of his time as a member and expressed the hope work would start on the Fota Road before he died.<
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