LABOUR Councillor Peter Coyle called time on his political career over the weekend, after 19 years of service to the people of Portmarnock and the electoral area of Howth/Malahide.
The three-time poll topper and legendary vote-getter informed Fingal County Manager that he was stepping down from the council and officially ceased to be a county councillor on Sunday.
The decision brings to an end a political career that started with being co-opted onto the council, then was followed by three poll-topping performances in a row – polling close to 60 per cent in his home town of Portmarnock.
Speaking to the Fingal Independent about his decision to retire, Mr. Coyle, said he had always intended to step down a year ahead of the next local elections to allow his replacement to be co-opted on the council and establish a record for themselves before facing the electorate.
'I felt I owed it to the party to give my replacement the same opportunity to establish themselves as I got,' he said.
While the popular Portmarnock politician is stepping down from representative politics, he fully intends to remain involved in local issues and says his role will change from being 'a councillor to a counsellor'.
'I won't disappear. I have given this a lot of thought. We are all told you should plan your retirement and that's what I've tried to do. I'll still be around to advise people and I suppose I see myself being a counsellor with the other spelling,' said Mr. Coyle.
Apart from sharing the experience he has gained in 19 years of public service, the Portmarnock man is also hoping to spend more time with his growing family and in particularly, his three young grandchildren.
Looking back on his career, he was grateful to the many people who supported him down through his years of service on the council.
'I'm well aware that I've had absolutely huge support over the years and from people of all backgrounds. I want to thank everyone for their support over the years,' he said.
He said he would not turn his back on the area and would stay engaged with local issues.
As for his replacement, the Fingal Independent understand that there are least three possible candidates interested in representing the area and it will be down to the local Labour party to choose who fills Mr. Coyle's considerable political boots.