Sunday 16 June 2019

Galway's Thomas Welby and Green Party's Hazel Chu among first councillors elected

Green Party candidates and local election winners Patrick Costelloe and Hazel Chu with their daughter Alex pictured at the count centre in the RDS. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Green Party candidates and local election winners Patrick Costelloe and Hazel Chu with their daughter Alex pictured at the count centre in the RDS. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Granddaughters Sophie (3) and Róisín (6months) with councillor Thomas Welby after he topped the poll in Conamara

Markus Krug

The Green Party's Hazel Chu has become the first councillor elected in Dublin today.

Cllr Chu topped the poll in the Pembroke constituency in South Dublin city.

“I want to thank people for voting for me,” Ms Chu said. “I feel like this has been a bit of luck to be honest."

Earlier today, Thomas Welby , an independent candidate in County Galway, was the first councillor elected.

Cllr Welby topped the polls in the Connemara electoral area - and was first past the post of the 949 councillors who will be elected over the coming days.

“Naturally, I am absolutely delighted. When you are running you obviously hope to get elected but you never take it for granted,” he told Independent.ie.

The councillor has now been elected for the fourth time in his career and topping the polls in doing so for the third time straight.

He was especially delighted since the constituency has been restructured from nine seats down to four.

“I want to thank my family for their great support throughout the whole process. I’m also very lucky to have a strong team around me that worked tirelessly and supported me throughout," he said.

Cllr Welby mentioned the development of weaker areas in his constituency as one of his main goals for this run on the county council.

“There are both stronger and poorer areas in Connemara. I want to work and help the people in these poorer areas and try to better their situation,” he said.

The re-elected councillor also added that he wanted to bring in his “experience and expertise for these areas and all the people in Connemara.”

Nonetheless he also warned of unrealistic expectations and said that “councillors are not gods that can create hundreds of jobs out of thin air” but that he wants to “partner with the people in order to improve the situation.”

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