THREE time former mayor of Mallow Cllr Richard Dempsey has announced that he is to resign from the town council.
Cllr Dempsey, who was first elected to the town council in 1999, officially announced his intention to step down by the end of the month at Tuesday's meeting of the local authority.
"I'm stepping down for personal reasons, nothing at all to do with the council, nothing at all to do with Fine Gael or anybody. It is a personal decision I'm after making and I have been thinking about this over the last 12 months," he said, adding that he had consulted with his family over the decision.
"I have worked with some great colleagues here, both in the present and in the past. I have been delighted to represent this town three times as mayor.
"It was a great honour for me, and a great honour for my family. It was also a great honour for me to represent the people of this town. I think I have done a good job," Cllr Dempsey said, thanking the town's manager, engineers and staff for their help over the years.
"We have one of the finest councils in Ireland, it's a shame to see that we are going to be gone in 2014. As regards the present councillors here, we've had our little bits of ups and downs but I think every one of us here, when we made decisions, did for the better of this town.
"It's not an easy decision to make, and I know you all rang me to ask that I change my mind, and I appreciate that. But it's a personal decision and I was delighted to work here and represent my town to the best of my ability and I would like to thank every one of you for all the help you have given me," he said.
Cllr Dempsey received warm tributes from the other seven councillors at the meeting, from Sinn Fein representative Melissa Mullane and members of the press.
His brother, Martin, also paid tribute to his brother's contribution to public life in Mallow.
Party colleague Tom Barry TD and local junior Minister Sean Sherlock also commended Cllr Dempsey's record on the council.