Daisy O'Brien to take O'Connor's council seat
Sinn Fein's Cllr Michael O'Connor to step down next month
Community and youth worker Dermot 'Daisy' O'Brien has been selected by members of Bray Sinn Féin to replace Councillor Michael O'Connor on Wicklow County Council when he steps down from the position next month.
Speaking after Mr O'Brien's selection, Cllr O'Connor said: 'I have regretfully decided to step down next month as a councillor on Wicklow County Council. This was not an easy decision but was necessary in the circumstances. I have a full-time job as a solicitor. The work I had to carry out as a councillor was almost full-time also. So clearly something had to give. It was no longer tenable to try to do both jobs. I also have a number of personal circumstances which were limiting the amount of time I could give to my constituents'
He said that he continues to be a proud member of Sinn Féin and will continue to work with the party, albeit in a less public way.
'I have every faith in Daisy and will continue to work with him over the coming months and assist him with his new role as a public representative,' said Cllr O'Connor. He thanked the party, including Deputy John Brady, Cllr Nicola Lawless and Cllr Mary McDonald.
'I would also like to thank everyone who works for Wicklow County Council for their professionalism and kindness to me,' he said.
Mr O'Brien said that he is very humbled to have been selected.
'It feels like it's time to get off the sideline and get into the game,' he said.
'My first real contact with the political scene goes all the way back to 17-year-old me who was involved in the 75th anniversary celebrations of the 1916 Rising. I've been involved in one way or another since then and when Michael indicated his desire to pass the baton, the question was posed whether it was time for me to consider stepping up into this other world of change-making.
'I think if you look around the world at the moment, politics is centre stage for both the right and the wrong reasons. It feels like change is happening and politics will play a major role in that change.'
At a local level Dermot is positive and pragmatic about his new role. 'I have seen and shared in some of the struggles, heartache and devastation that people in this town have had to endure over the years and yet I continue to see resilience, a spirit of generosity that drives people forward. There's something in the community of Bray that always strives to lift itself out of despair and towards a positive purpose. What a privilege it would be to contribute to that positive purpose and to give life to the potential of this wonderful town.'
Deputy Brady thanked Cllr O'Connor for his years of service and congratulated Dermot on his new role.