Plenty of well wishes for PAT after his near 35 years
Long term councillor Pat Doran, who was first elected in 1985, attended his final meeting of Wicklow County Council on April 29 and is looking forward to his retirement, surrounded by his loyal community and his supportive family.
'It wasn't easy to balance a political life when you've a young family, like when I started nearly 35 years ago, but I enjoyed every day of it,' said Cllr Pat Doran, explaining that he has no regrets over the years.
'My focus was always helping the people that needed help, and I wouldn't change a thing as I was always happy doing what I was doing,' said the man from Tomacork, Carnew.
Cllr Doran found political inspiration in the Fianna Fáil party first in 1970, and later followed his hero into local politics, the late Paudge Brennan, who he admits he owes a lot to.
Born in Lismore in County Waterford, Pat Doran will turn 78 this coming June.
Cllr Doran spent eleven years in the UK and worked in the building trade for a long time before taking up farming, a path which he has since passed on to his sons.
Legacy is important to Cllr Doran, and he always saw himself as a 'spokesperson for the community'.
'I spent my time listening and taking note of the issues that are affecting people, and I always got on very well with the public' said Cllr Doran, summing up the last 35 years as he leaves as Leas Cathaoirleach of the Baltinglass Electoral Area.
Although he admits to having 'no big plans' for his retirement or his birthday, he plans to stay local around his village and with his family.
Now with large family of five children (four sons and one daughter) and 13 grandchildren, Pat married the late Mary, who was originally from Mayo, and they enjoyed 50 years of marriage together, having first met when he was digging a manhole outside her door in Bradford.
Cllr Doran highlighted the importance of having good relationships with the loyal council staff, who were around him when he was experiencing grief following the loss of his wife, and he said that he will never forget the kindness he received.
'I'm going to miss working on the council, I really will,' said Cllr Doran.
Any issues he ever had with other councillors he now regards as 'water under the bridge'.
At his last meeting, Cllr Doran was presented with a picture to remember his time and he said he was honoured to have since received letters and phone calls from a large number of his supporters wishing him well.
'I'm getting a bit long in the tooth, but my life won't change. I'll be around the village and still involved with my community groups,' said Cllr Doran, who has been involved heavily with South Wicklow Hospice Homecare, Carnew Community Care as well as Carnew Emmets GAA Club.
Cllr Doran spent 30 years working as a cattle buyer for Slaney Meats, an occupation which led on neatly enough to politics through the constant meeting people involved.
When Pat was elected to the county council for the first time in 1985, he scraped in by 20 votes.
From there, he survived seven elections, and believes he would be re-elected this time if he ran again.
The only time that Cllr Doran lost out was when he was unsuccessful in his bid to take a seat in Leinster House.
Cllr Doran would like to thank his supporters from Carnew, through Shillelagh and Tinahely, from Knockananna to Valleymount, from Baltinglass, Blessington and Manor Kilbride and everywhere in between.
He would also like to thank his family for always being there for him.