THE mayoral chain of office has moved further west for another 12 months, as Goleen native Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) was elected unopposed as county mayor last Friday, taking over from Bandon-based Cllr Gillian Coughlan (FF).
The Bantry-based publican and brother of TD Michael was nominated by Cllr Declan Hurley (Ind) and seconded by Cllr Seamus McGrath (FF).
He set out his stall from the outset at the Council’s agm by stating that he will not be taking the mayor’s car for his term of office.
‘I will have a driver for health and safety issues, and to keep up on work on the phone and iPad for my constituents,’ said Cllr Collins, who added that he was ‘very emotional and proud’ to have been elected county mayor.
Cllr Collins said he wants to visit as many towns and villages throughout the county and meet with different voluntary organisations.
‘I know some of these organisations have struggled to re-establish themselves since Covid, but I do see most of them have come back in strength doing great voluntary work for their communities and I want to recognise this work and I want to meet these groups,’ said Cllr Collins.
He also spoke about the need for more funding for Cork county and said that Cork is not getting its fair ‘buck’ and that it has been unfairly treated by State funding as highlighted by the All Island Research Observatory (AIRO) report.
‘Well I want to blow the dust off this report and, with the executive of Cork County Council, meet with the relevant minister to discuss the findings and try to get much-needed funding for our county.’
On a personal note, he thanked his partner Noreen, and his family who were also in the chamber for the ceremony.
Meanwhile, outgoing mayor Cllr Gillian Coughlan gave an emotional speech about her time as mayor over the past 12 months and thanked her fellow councillors who, she said, were the ‘scrum behind her.’
She added that she will miss the energy of being county mayor and thanked her husband Don and family for all their patience during her term in office.
Her colleague, Cllr Deirdre O’Brien – daughter of former TD Ned O’Keeffe – was elected unopposed as deputy mayor.