4 June 2015
By Elaine Murphy
Last week we wrote about RTE Radio Cork, after we discovered a 21 year old tape of an outside broadcast from Clonakilty.
Today, we can fast forward to the present day more positive news for the scenic West Cork town.
The people of Clonakilty, as well as any visitors to the area, are being issued with an open invitation by the Clonakilty Mayoral Council to the Mayoral changeover ceremony this Thursday evening (4th June) at 8pm in O’Donovan’s Hotel.
Colette Twomey, (Managing Director of the famous Clonakilty Blackpudding Company), became Ireland’s first ever directly-elected Mayor last year when Clonakilty was the only town to organise a special election in which voters selected their choice of five candidates to be Mayors of Clonakilty on a rotation basis over five years.
Clonakilty was the only one of the 80 towns in the state to conduct such a process after their statutory Town Council – and with it the position of Mayor of the Town, was abolished by the government.
Over the course of the last year, Mayor Colette has represented Clonakilty and it’s people with distinction, attending dozens of events and special occasions to which she was invited as Mayor of Clonakilty.
She also chaired the monthly meetings of the Mayoral Council, when the five Mayors meet to discuss issues relating to the town and community. She also oversaw a public meeting in relation to the OPW proposed flood relief works where different concerned citizens in the community came together, and a submission was made in response to the OPW.
During the year, she also appeared on television on the “Eco Eye” programme on the same topic.
She continued the tradition of the Town Council Mayors of the past in officially switching on the Christmas Lights and led her colleagues at the head of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The Mayor was held in such esteem that she was also invited on a number of occasions to events “outside the constituency”! by neighbouring communities.
Mayor Colette can take a bow on a job well done, and a well-deserved rest after a busy and successful year when she hands over the chain to Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin at this Thursday’s event at 8.00pm at O’ Donovan’s Hotel.
The other members of the Mayoral Council (in order of election and therefore their year of office) are: Anthony McDermott; John M. Loughnan and Gretta O’ Donovan.
Meanwhile, the Mayor and Mayoral Council are very honoured that they have been nominated and subsequently short-listed for the Cork County Mayor’s Awards ceremony that will take place at Couonty Hall this Wednesday evening.
Mayor Colette Twomey stated:
“This is a real honour not just for ourselves, but the people of Clonakilty, and the Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage sub committee that organised the Mayoral Council concept last year.
We are all very honoured to have been elected by the people of Clonakilty, and that our town was the only one in Ireland to ever hold an election to directly-elect their Mayors in a totally democratic way.
Clonakilty is a great community and we are delighted to have been recognised by the County Mayor and County Council by being nominated for this Community Award”.