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County Mayor's Diary

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019 4:35pm

My work as a councillor over the years had given me some idea of what the office of mayor would be like.

Travelling long distances, meeting a huge variety of people, representing my community, taking on tough challenges and so much more besides are part and parcel of public life in local government. However, jumping out of a plane flying 13,000 feet above Offaly, falls outside the normal day to day life of a county mayor!

Nonetheless, that’s exactly what I was doing for the bank holiday weekend. Earlier this year, I met with people from across Eyeries to discuss fundraising ideas for improvements to their playground and to support the Eyeries Festival. Cork Cancer Connect, an organisation very close to my heart, was also selected as a benefactor.

I’ve said before of Cancer Connect that they literally move mountains – by closing the gap between Goleen or Castletownbere and Cork’s hospitals for patients from West Cork – so jumping out of a plane is a small feat by comparison. It was, nonetheless, both terrifying and exhilarating. The Irish Parachute Club were fantastic for facilitating the jump. They couldn’t have done more. I would strongly recommend it to anyone!

After involuntarily kissing the ground, I was back to Cork where preparations were underway for the final full council meeting of the current Cork County Council. This will also mark the final meeting of Cork County Council before the boundary transfer. Some of my colleagues are running for election to a different council and many of you will be voting for, and represented by, members of Cork City Council for the first time.

Wherever you are voting from, I can’t overstate the importance of your vote. It’s vital that you can see your views and your communities’ values reflected in politics. Local government is especially important in this regard. Every town and village throughout the country is distinct from the next one, by geography, community, history, culture or amenity. Even though towns and villages may face the same issues, there is no one size fits all response.

I firmly believe that the best people to decide on local issues are local people and this is central to local government. Exercising your right to vote is an essential way to participate in decisions which affect your community.

Despite the perceived difference between local and international politics, there is a huge connection between the work of the EU and the work of Cork County Council. Funding from the EU is allocated and managed through a number of council initiatives. Make sure you vote.

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