Noel and Johnny all set to move up the chains of office
THE outgoing Mayor of Mallow, Cllr Noel O'Connor, is set to swap one chain for another on Friday when he becomes the first person from the town to become Mayor of Cork County.
Cllr O'Connor is odds on favorite to replace his Fine Gael colleague Barbara Murray as chair of the local authority at the council's AGM on Friday.
He secured the party nomination after defeating Cllr John O'Sullivan from West Cork in a recent ballot among party members.
Cllr O'Connor, who has been a member of Cork County Council for the past 12-years, will become the first county mayor from North Cork since Tom Sheahan in 2007/2008.
Speaking to The Corkman, Cllr O'Connor said that it had always been an ambition of his to serve as county mayor.
"Taking up the chain of office will be a great honour for me and my family. I am also extremely pound of the fact that I will be the first person from Mallow to wear the chain of office," he said.
"It is a challenging role, but one that I am very much looking forward to taking up," he added.
He said that issues such as job creation, caring for the disabled and tourism will be among his priorities during his time as mayor.
"I will be encouraging the higher rate payers to create 2-3 jobs each, that would result in the creation of hundreds of jobs across the county," he said.
Cllr O'Connor also intends to compile a comprehensive report on facilities for disabled people across the county. "This will give us an overview of what we are doing right and where we are falling down in relation to essential services," he said.
"In terms of tourism, I will work to ensure that sites across the county, including Mallow Castle and Doneraile Park in North Cork, realise their potential in terms of attracting visitors," he added.
Meanwhile, Cllr John 'Bottles' Griffin (Ind) is in line to take over as - the last - mayor of Mallow when the town council holds its AGM tonight (Thursday).
Cllr Griffin, who was elected to the town council in 2009, is due to take the chain under a standing agreement between himself, Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail Fine Gael following the last local election.
The chain has been held by members of all three parties since, leaving Cllr Griffin in a strong position to take become the next mayor.
"While it is not a forgone conclusion, I would be confident that I will be the next mayor under the standing agreement. I would love to be mayor, it would be a tremendous honour for me and my family, particularly as this is the final year of the council," he said.
Cllr Griffin did not rule out using the office as a springboard for seeking a seat on the reformed Cork County Council in the 2014 local elections.
"I will take stock of the situation over the coming months, but it is looking very likely that I will put my name forward for the county council next year," he said.