By BRIAN MOORE
AS Cllr Noel O’Donovan (FG) hangs up his politician’s suit to don the uniform of An Garda Síochána shortly, his colleagues at Cork Council Council have been bidding him a fond farewell.
At a meeting of the Municipal District of West Cork (MDWC), held in Bantry last week, Cllr O’Donovan officially said his goodbyes as he prepares to take his place with his fellow recruits at the Garda Training College in Templemore later this month.
‘I would like to say that it was a pleasure to work with Noel. His enthusiasm and his drive in working for the people of West Cork was only matched by his professionalism and dedication to supporting the community,’ Cllr Declan Hurley (Ind), chair of the MDWC said.
Party colleague and fellow councillor Mary Hegarty stated that she would miss Noel, both at the Council meetings, and as a friend. ‘You have been a wonderful friend and colleague, and you have worked hard for the people of West Cork. I wish you all the best for the future, and I know you will be missed,’ she said.
‘Wherever you go, I am certain that you will give your new career the dedication and hard work that you have given the people of West Cork,’ Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) said. ‘Although, I hope I don’t meet you on the road some night in your official capacity, that is!’ he joked.
Cllr Pat Gerard Murphy (FF) also wished Noel well in his new career with the gardaí. ‘You have always worked well with all the members here, and I know – as Cllr Carroll has said – that you will be a great success. I wish you all and best for the future,’ he told the meeting.
‘I want to wish you every success for the future,’ Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) said. ‘It has been a pleasure working with you, and I know it is very seldom that all the councillors around this table are in total harmony on any subject, but in this situation, I too, am confident that you will make a very successful career for yourself.’
‘While I have only been a councillor for a short time, it has been a pleasure working with you, Noel,’ added Cllr Danny Collins (Ind). ‘I want to wish you all the best for the future.’
An emotional Cllr Noel O’Donovan thanked his colleagues for their kind words and said: ‘It was a very tough decision that I’ve made, but I want to thank all those who have supported me during my time here. To my fellow councillors, I want to say that it was a pleasure working with you all and I want to thank the Council staff for all their hard work and for the help they provided. I will look back on my time here as a happy time,’ he said.
Cllr O’Donovan’s seat will now be filled by a nomination from Fine Gael which will probably be decided at a forthcoming convention, and then officially approved by the Council members at the next available meeting.