00:00 Saturday 19 March 2011  Written by Jackie Keogh

Two new West Cork councillors to replace recently-elected TDS

WEST Cork has two new Fine Gael councillors - Noel O'Donovan from Rossmore, who has the distinction of being the youngest member of Cork County Council, and Jerry Sullivan, an established party figure from the village of Eyeries.

On Friday night, the twenty-two year-old councillor, Noel O'Donovan, saw off three other candidates at a selection convention at the Parkway Hotel to take the Cork County Council seat vacated by the newly-elected TD for Cork South West, Jim Daly.

On Saturday night, there were seven candidates in contention for the seat vacated by Fine Gael's other newly-elected TD, Noel Harrington, but it was Jerry Sullivan from Eyeries who emerged victorious at the selection convention, which was held at The Westlodge Hotel in Bantry.

On Monday, both Noel and Jim attended their first full meeting of Cork County Council at County Hall. Shortly afterwards, Noel addressed the media saying: 'I am delighted, and honoured, to have been selected.

'I am proud to have been chosen to represent the people of the Skibbereen Electoral Area and I hope to emulate the good work done by Jim Daly, who was an exemplary councillor since he was first elected in 2004.

'Although I am young,' the final-year Commerce student said: 'I believe that I am capable of representing the West Cork community and expressing their views and concerns at county council level.'

In keeping with protocols, Noel will be stepping down as the chairperson of the local Carbery branch of Young Fine Gael.

In his role as chairman, Noel was credited with being the main driving force behind the re-organisation of the youth branch over the past few years and bringing its membership to more than 100 members.

Noel said he has always wanted to become a public representative like his great granduncle, Sean Hayes, who apart from being a former editor of The Southern Star, was a TD for West Cork and served in the very first Dáil alongside Michael Collins.

Meanwhile, fifty-five year-old Jerry Sullivan, who has been a member of the Eyeries branch of Fine Gael since his mid-teens, spoke to The Southern Star on Monday after his first council meeting.

He said: 'I am delighted to take up the seat held by Noel Harrington in Beara for the last twelve years.

I know I have an onerous task ahead of me, but I look forward to doing as much as I can for the people of Beara.'

Jerry also indicated that, in keeping with the requirements of his new position as a Fine Gael member of Cork County Council, he will be obliged to step down as chairman of the local Fine Gael branch and chairman of Beara Fine Gael District Executive.

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