Pat Hayes is elected chair of council's northern committee
The new chair of Cork County Council's northern area committee has said the Mallow Northern Relief Road and the M20 Cork-Limerick motorway will be at the top of his agenda during his 12-month stint in the role.
Newly elected Fianna Fail councillor Pat Hayes took over the chain of office at the committee's AGM last Monday at Annabella House in Mallow.
During his term in office Cllr Hayes will oversee the meetings of the committee, which is comprised of the 15 councillors representing the combined Mallow, Kanturk and Fermoy Local Electoral Areas (LEAs).
A well known Mallow businessman, Cllr Hayes, who is also the president of Mallow Chamber, topped the Mallow electoral area poll in the recent local elections at the first time running for the authority.
He was elected on the first count, polling an impressive 1,806 first preference votes.
Cllr Hayes said he was "deeply honoured" to accept the role and thanked his council colleagues for "placing their trust in me".
"I look forward to working closely with all councillors in the chamber, council officials and engineers for the coming 12 months. I can assure everyone I won't be found wanting when it comes to commitment and perseverance to try and make progress on the many issues that affect us all on a daily basis," he pledged.
"There are many issues which will have to be dealt with but the Northern Relief Road and the M20 will have to be at the top of the list," he added.
He said that tourism would also play a major role in the development of Mallow and the wider North Cork region and that he would work closely with the authority in the development of facilities such as Mallow Castle and its grounds.
"There is a great opportunity to create jobs in the northern district through tourism. North Cork has always been a great centre for retail and industry and I will strive to promote more investment into our region. Also, derelict buildings have a very negative impact on our towns and villages and I will be seeking action on these," pledged Cllr Hayes.
"I believe the northern committee has been crucial to the development of North Cork and I would like to commend the work that has been done in the past and I look forward to progressing it further," he added.
Meanwhile, his party colleagues, Cllr Bernard Moynihan and Cllr Frank O'Flynn, were elected to the chairs of the Kanturk/Mallow and Fermoy Municipal District committees respectively.