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Christopher O’Sullivan, Mayor of the County of Cork

Wednesday, 19th June, 2019 3:53pm

Name and position: Christopher O’Sullivan, Mayor of the County of Cork

Age: 37

Lives: Clonakilty

Family: None

Pets: One dog called Jerry

Favourite thing about Cork: The coast.

Least favourite thing about Cork: we haven’t realised the potential of our coast. That frustrates me.

One thing you’d change about Cork: I’d love to see a return to more natural woodland. We used to be covered in oak. In fact, Clonakilty in Irish is Cloich na Coillte. The ‘Coillte’ refers to a forest which existed back in the 17th century. We have a motto down our way... ‘Let’s put the Coillte back in Cloich Na Coillte’!

When you were small, what did you want to be as a grown-up?

A vet, an actor and a professional footballer... all at the same time.

Tell us about your career progression to your role today:

I finished my degree in law, politics and Spanish in May 2007. The very next month, I was co-opted onto my father’s council seat after he was elected to Dáil Éireann in that year’s general election. I ran for re-election in 2009, when I took the very last seat in my electoral area. In the 2014 election I increased my vote substantially to take the fourth seat out of eight in the West Cork Municipal District. I was beginning to feel more comfortable with the responsibility of being a public representative and I became more aware of the type of councillor I wanted to be. This helped me top the poll in the 2019 Local Election. I was then overjoyed when, just two weeks later, I was elected Mayor of this incredible county. I’m also a whale watching guide with a Courtmacsherry-based whale watching company.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of what you do?

Community activism. Getting involved with my neighbours and friends to create festivals and events in the locality. It’s like we are creating magic. It makes people happy and it promotes our beautiful region.

What motivates you?

My passion for West Cork probably. I love the place.

What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?

I don’t think I would give him any advice really. The friends I made then shaped who I am. I’m happy with how things worked out. I’d maybe tell him to listen to The Beatles more.

If you weren’t in the job you have, what would you be doing?

I’d be a marine biologist.

What is your greatest life or career achievement to-date?

Becoming County Mayor for sure.

Who has had the biggest influence on you in your life?

My family and friends. It sounds obvious, but they have shaped who I am.

What is the life dream now?

I want to be a TD. That’s the career goal at least. I’ve stumbled upon a lovely work/leisure balance. It would be nice to keep that too.

How do you switch off?

I search for rare migrant birds on Mizen Head or around Clonakilty Estuary.

What is your favourite Cork memory?

Probably kayaking with giant basking sharks at Red Strand near Ardfield in West Cork.

What is your favourite place in Cork?

Mizen Head.

Do you have a favourite quote or motto?

‘Don’t do today what you can put off until tomorrow’. I’m claiming credit for penning that.

When are you at your happiest?

On a boat ten miles off the Cork coast, searching for whales and dolphins.

Any regrets?

No.

What is your hidden talent?

I’m a fantastic whistler.

What might we be surprised to know about you?

I’m a big Aston Villa fan.

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