Dan Joe remembered as new chair of Kanturk/Mallow area elected
Cllr Gearóid Murphy (FF) takes over chain from 'gentleman' Timmy Collins
The legacy of the late and much-respected Cork county councillor Dan Joe Fitzgerald was once again recalled last Friday as Kanturk/Mallow councillors met to appoint the new chair of their municipal district committee.
In his final speech while wearing the chain of office, outgoing committee chair Cllr Timmy Collins (Ind) paid tribute to the late Cllr Fitzgerald, who was the first to hold the position following local government reforms in 2014.
"It was apt that Dan Joe was the first to hold the office, given his long and distinguished career in local politics," said Cllr Collins. "Little did we know at the time that term in office would be tragically cut short, and it is fitting that he should be in our thoughts today."
Those sentiments were echoed by all of the other councillors, including Sinn Fein's Melissa Mullane, who said she was "delighted" to see Cllr Fitzgerald's contribution to the district being remembered and celebrated.
Before signing off as chair, Cllr Collins thanked his council colleagues and his councillor colleagues for their help over the past year.
"It was, in some respects, a difficult year, and there have been a few disagreements", he said.
"That said, we councillors have gotten along reasonably well, and I thank you for the privilege of wearing the chain for the past 12 months," he said.
"I would also like to thank council officials and engineers; you could not wish for a better team than the one we have in the Kanturk/Mallow district," he added.
Cllr John Paul O'Shea (FG) summed up the various tributes paid to Cllr Collins, saying he had done "an excellent job" over the past year.
"You took on the role with great enthusiasm, handled our meetings well and fairly, and always had the interest of the entire district at heart," he said.
Describing Cllr Collins as "an absolute gentleman", Cllr Bernard Moynihan (FF) thanked him for his courtesy and fairness, as well as bringing his years of political experience to bear during his term in office.
Cllr Gearóid Murphy (FF) was subsequently elected unopposed to the chair of the committee, but not before, much to the amusement of those present, district officer Liz Donovan inadvertently announced that Cllr Gerard Murphy (FG) had been elected to the role.
Cllr Bernard Moynihan was elected to the role of vice-chair for the year.
Accepting the chain of office Cllr Gearóid Murphy complimented the work done by his predecessor, in particular his commitment to the provision of both the Mallow relief road and the M20 motorway. He said these would also be at the top of his agenda as committee chair.
"The recent announcement of job losses in Kanturk has shown how much we need the M20 to connect north Cork to the rest of the country in order to attract new businesses to the area," he said.
"During my year as chair I also intend to highlight the need for additional need for investment in core services such as roads and footpaths and the need for more outdoor council staff," he added.