‘YOUR day will come,’ said a humble Cllr Joe Carroll to newly-elected Cllr Holly McKeever Cairns, following a vote for the role of chair of the Municipal District of West Cork.
Cllr Carroll (FF) defeated Cllr McKeever Cairns (SD) in a straight vote to secure the chairman’s role at a meeting in County Hall earlier this week.
Cllr McKeever Cairns secured her Bantry area Council seat after a mammoth election count last month.
As well as voting for the new chairman and vice-chair, the meeting was also significant because three new female councillors – Katie Murphy (FG), Karen Coakley (FG) and Holly McKeever Cairns (SD) – attended their first divisional meeting.
Cllr Carroll was proposed by his colleague Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy and seconded by newly-elected county mayor Cllr Chris O’Sullivan.
However, Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) said that in the interest of gender balance, it would be a good opportunity for the Municipal District to have a female chair.
He proposed Cllr McKeever Cairns for the post, which was seconded by Cllr Katie Murphy.
With two names going into the hat, it came down to a vote between the two councillors. A voting pact by Fianna Fáil and Independents ensured that Cllr Carroll won out in the end, defeating Cllr McKeever Cairns by five votes to four.
Cllr Carroll thanked councillors for their support and outgoing chair Danny Collins for all his work over the past 12 months.
Cllr O’Sullivan proposed Cllr Declan Hurley (Ind) for vice-chair, seconded by Cllr Murphy, but Cllr McKeever Cairns proposed Karen Coakley for the role, seconded by Katie Murphy. Cllr Hurley defeated Cllr Coakley by five votes to four.