Two new councillors take up seats

Cathal Boland returns to Fingal County Council to replace retired Cllr David O’Connor
Cathal Boland returns to Fingal County Council to replace retired Cllr David O’Connor

Fingal County Council has two new faces on its benches although one of them is no stranger to the council chamber.

Following the recent retirements of Cllr David O’Connor (NP) and Cllr Ken Farrell (Lab), two new councillors have been co-opted in their place for the remainder of the council term which runs has less than a year to run to the local elections, next May.

It is unusual for a newly co-opted councillor to instantly become the second longest serving councillor in the chamber but that is exactly what happened when Cllr Cathal Boland (NP) took his seat, in place of David O’Connor.

Cllr Boland retired from politics in 2004 but was a long-serving councillor on Fingal County Council and Dublin County Council before that.

He is a former member of Fine Gael but is taking his seat as an independent and made it clear to his new council colleagues that he intended to remain independent and would not join a political party.

He said: ‘I’m a long term activist in politics. I’m probably now the second longest serving councillor in the chamber after Cllr Devitt.

‘My good friend, David O’Connor decided to resign his seat to take up the position of president of Cricket Ireland and I wish him well in that post.

‘He inveigled me to agree to see out his term and it is my intention to do that and serve the Balbriggan electoral area to the best of my ability, using my talents and my knowledge to achieve what’s best for the people.’

He paid tribute to Cllr O’Connor’s ‘calmness and his charm in achieving all he did on behalf of his constituents.’

Replacing Cllr Ken Farrell (Lab) was a brand new face to the council in Robert O’Donoghue.

Cllr O’Donoghue introduced himself in the chamber, saying: ‘I’m Rob O’Donoghue. I’ve lived in Fingal for about 30 years now and i’ve been political active for about 10 years.

‘I recognise plenty of your faces from election posters and count centres over the years and I’m sure I’ll get to know you all better over the next few weeks and months.

‘I’d like to pay tribute to Ken Farrell for facilitating my co-option onto the council to serve with you. No one is more aware than I am of the size of the shoes in which I step.’

This was the last full council meeting before the summer break and both new councillors will now have the summer to settle in.

Fingal Independent