A YEAR on since Colette Twomey became Ireland’s first ever directly elected Mayor, she will conclude her term this Thursday evening, June 4th, and her successor will be installed.
An open invitation has been issued to the people of Clonakilty to attend the event, which has been changed from O’Donovan’s Hotel to Asna Square at 8pm.
When the government announced the abolition of all town councils last year, the people of Clonakilty, led by the local Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage group, initiated a campaign to retain the position of mayor of Clonakilty after the council went.
A special election – organised and run on a tvoluntary basis – was held on May 24th, with almost 1,600 people voting for their choice of town mayors for the following five years.
It was the first time ever anywhere in Ireland that the ordinary people could vote for their choice of mayor, as within the local authority system, it is the elected representatives who select the mayor at an annual meeting.
Five out of eight candidates were elected in Clonakilty – each to hold the position of mayor for one year each, based on the rotation in which they were elected.
Even though it is a totally voluntary, unpaid, non-statutory, honorary position with no power, the mayor enjoys huge respect in the town, as shown by the dozens of invitations issued to Mayor Colette Twomey over the last year to attend local community events.
On Thursday, June 4th at 8pm, she will stand down after a busy and successful year and hand over the chain to Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin, who received the second-highest vote in last year’s historic election.