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David Healy is new Fingal Mayor

Green Party councillor elected to top post

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Deputy Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Robert O’Donoghue (left) with Mayor of Fingal, David Healy

Deputy Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Robert O’Donoghue (left) with Mayor of Fingal, David Healy

Deputy Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Robert O’Donoghue (left) with Mayor of Fingal, David Healy

Green Party councillor David Healy is the new Mayor of Fingal after the council's Annual General Meeting was held in very unusual circumstances at the National Show Centre in Swords.

The larger venue was to facilitate social distancing and councillors sat individually in rows, looking for all the world like they were about to take their Leaving Cert exams. As council officials explained the protocols for the meeting, one almost expected the phrase 'turn over your papers now' to echo over the venue's speakers.

But the business at hand was to elect a new Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Fingal and once the technology had been sorted out, that is what councillors got down to doing.

Cllr Healy was elected Mayor, defeating Cllr Joan Hopkins (SD) and Cllr Puname Rane (FG) for the council's top ceremonial job. Cllr Robert O'Donoghue of Labour was elected Deputy Mayor.

The new Mayor paid tribute to his predecessor, Cllr Eoghan O'Brien for his work in the office and paid glowing tribute to council staff for their work during the COVID-19 crisis.

He said that crisis was a 'terrifying reminder that we are not insulated from the biosphere'.

He added: 'But it's been a demonstration at the same time that we are capable of rapid, radical and collective action in the face of a global crisis. Fingal has been developing its approach and we have good commitments in our climate action plan towards sustainability in relation to water and biodiversity.

'As a global society, particularly developed countries, we have a lot more to do and Ireland is an integral part of that. We are an innovative council and therefore we are well placed to be part of the major changes we know are needed to protect our environment and that means protecting ourselves.'

With a new emphasis on social distancing, Mayor Healy said that more room for pedestrians and cyclists would have to be found and the council should look to countries where this has proven to be successful, to deliver best practice in this area, across the county, in the future.

Cllr Healy, who represents the Howth-Malahide Electoral Area, was first elected as a councillor in 1991. Based in Howth, he works as a climate change policy researcher.

Cllr O'Donoghue, who represents the Rush-Lusk Electoral Area, has been an elected member since 2018 when he was co-opted to replace retiring councillor, Ken Farrell.

Tributes were paid to the outgoing Mayor, Cllr Eoghan O'Brien by councillors and Fingal County Council Chief Executive AnnMarie Farrelly who also presented Cllr O'Brien with a Commemorative Medal and a Photograph Album recording his year in office.

Fingal Independent