Tributes were paid to outgoing councillors Tony Dempsey (Fianna Fáil), Martin Murphy (Independent) and Larry O'Brien (Fine Gael) at their final meeting of Wexford County Council.
Cllr Dempsey thanked the officials and staff of Wexford County Council for their support. He said his phone calls, even on weekends, were always answered promptly. He said: 'I am more convinced than ever that the closer the people are to the decision makers the better it is. We have wiped 63 per cent off our debt while building a tech hub in Gorey. It's inspirational!' Cllr Dempsey said.
He praised Chief Executive Tom Enright for the positive role he has brought as the county council's leader.
Cllr Murphy said it was a great honour to have been elected by his peers in his own community. 'To be chosen to represent them and their communities and to deal with all the various issues in a community - it's all about working for local people on all local issues at a local level. I have enjoyed the experience. I hope I helped a few people along the way.'
He said as a councillor you get into the heart of a community and into people's homes. 'It brings to your attention some of the extreme issues people are facing that you are not aware of.'
Cllr Murphy thanked the executive and staff of Wexford county Council, adding that Tom Enright has been a breath of fresh air since he arrived in the county. 'Tom brought urgency, integrity and everything of that nature to this county council and praised the various chairperson over the years, saying it is a difficult job keeping a rein on 34 councillors.
Cllr O'Brien, who was the council's longest serving member, setting out on his career in 1991, said he served with some of his fellow councillors' parents, including Michael Whelan's, Barbara Anne Murphy's and Ger Carthy's. He thanked Tom Enright and Eamonn Hore for their support and the work they have done for the county, and the staff.
He said he got on with all of the elected members and even if there was an argument it was always resolved after a meeting. Cllr O'Brien wishes former Sinn Fein councillor Oisin O'Connell well in his future, adding that he served with some great people. He said by working together great things can be achieved, adding that he worked with Cllr Oliver Walsh and Pip Breen to get Co Wexford included in the government's spatial strategy. Cllr Paddy Kavanagh was one of several councillors to pay tribute to the three men, saying they are al going out on a high. He wished them health and happiness, adding that all three worked for the greater good of the county.