7 June 2018
By Elaine Murphy
The people of Clonakilty, along with visitors to the area, are all are invited to Asna Square next Thursday 7th June at 8pm to witness the annual Mayoral Changeover.
Over the last 12 months, Mayor John Loughnan has had a very busy and varied schedule of community events in which he represented the community with distinction.
On 7th June, he will hand over the Mayoral Chain and Robe to Gretta O’ Donovan, who will hold the position of “Mayor of Clonakilty” for the coming year.
Clonakilty is the only town now in the country with it’s own Mayor after the government abolished all the statutory town councils in May 2014.
Local history group, Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage organised a special election in which nine people stood for the position of non-political, community, voluntary Town Mayor. 1,600 people voted and five candidates were elected, and hold the position of “Mayor of Clonakilty” for one-year terms in the order in which they were elected by the people.
It is unique also in that it’s the only time ever, anywhere in the 32 counties of Ireland, that Mayors have been elected by direct votes of the people of their community.
It’s hard to believe that Gretta will be the last of the five Mayors to take up the position in the five year cycle and at the end of her term there will be another election next May to elect five people for the coming five years.
Before outgoing Mayor John Loughnan, Colette Twomey, Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin and Anthony McDermott held the position.
Gretta O’ Donovan will be installed at 8pm on Thursday 7th June at Asna Square to which all are invited.
(In the event of inclement weather, the event will take place at 8pm at O’ Donovan’s Hotel, Pearse St.).