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County Mayor's Diary

Thursday, 9th January, 2020 9:05am

I hope you had a peaceful Christmas and may I wish you a very happy New Year. It’s been six months since I was elected as Mayor of the County of Cork and I can hardly believe I am already halfway through my term. I had a jam-packed diary in 2019 and have just picked a few highlights, which wasn’t easy considering there were so many.

One item that is bringing more and more people together is the issue of climate change. I think this is the defining issue of our time and we are now at a defining moment.

Meeting young people across the county through my many schools visits in recent months has been a particular highlight for me. It is heartening to hear their messages on climate change and concerns on plastic pollution. These visits have really lifted my spirits and reaffirmed my beliefs and work in this area.

In September, Cork County Council’s Climate Adaptation Strategy 2019-2024 was adopted which gives climate change considerations prominence across the delivery of all our services. To mark Reuse Month in October, I welcomed Cork County Council’s Reuse Republic event which gave people the opportunity to meet organisations that are leading the way in upcycling and reuse.

While relationships abroad are vital, relationships with our local community are even more important. In 2019, Cork County Council supported more than 100 festivals with a fund of €525,000 and there’s nothing like a festival to bring a community together. I encourage anyone considering running a future festival to apply for the Cork County Council Local Festival Fund 2020. Applications are being accepted on YourCouncil.ie until 17 January.

In November, I welcomed the signing of a contract between the European Investment Bank and Cork County Council while will support a variety of projects such as coastal sewerage schemes, flood defences, works to Fermoy Weir, bypasses in Bantry and Carrigaline, tourism projects including Mallow Castle and Camden Fort Meagher plus many more.

One of the final contract signings for 2019 was for the N22 road development, which includes the Macroom bypass. This €280 million project will free towns and villages of congestion allowing them to grow and rejuvenate. It will also improve road safety and journey times, enhancing connectivity between Cork and Kerry.

November also saw the inaugural Cork County Business & Tourism Awards, with 325 entries received from 240 different businesses and organisations from across the county. I was honoured to be part of this celebration of the very best of business across a wide variety of sectors; it really showcased the best of what our county has to offer.

I am looking forward to the remainder of my term, continuing to represent the people of Cork county in all that is being achieved across our communities and businesses in 2020.

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