New mayor elect Cionnaith O’Suilleabhain being aided with the chain by outgoing mayor Cllr John Loughnan and Cllr Aidan Pendlebury deputy mayor elect. Pic: Denis Boyle

WHOEVER said a week is a long time in politics clearly didn’t have the patience of Clonakilty town councillor Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin, who after 18 years in the job has finally been elected as the town’s mayor.

Having served on the council for almost two decades the election of the Sinn Féin councillor to the highest office in Clonakilty proved a popular choice among the public as well as political colleagues and rivals with congratulations flooding in via social media sites.

Mayor elect Cionnaith O”Suilleabhain receives the chain of office from outgoing mayor John Loughnan. Pic: Denis Boyle

Cllr Ó Súilleabháin has topped the poll on numerous occasions in the town council elections and stood for the office of mayor on at least 10 previous occasions.

Speaking to West Cork Times, Cllr Ó Súilleabháin said that he wanted to thank Labour’s Cllr Aidan Pendlebury and Fianna Fáil councillor Anne Cullinane who both went against their party line in supporting a Sinn Féin candidate.

He also thanked independent councillor Phil O’Regan whose deciding vote made it 5 – 4 in favour of Cllr Ó Súilleabháin’s election.

Cllr Pendlebury was also elected as Deputy Mayor.

The new Mayor of Clonakilty told West Cork Times, “It is a huge honour, I am from Clonakilty and it really means a lot to be elected.

“It has been a long time coming but I was very pleased with the congratulations I received from people across the political spectrum.

“It will be an especially great honour to hold the office of mayor going in to 2013, which is a major year for Clonakilty as the town celebrates its 400th anniversary.

“I’m really looking forward to the job ahead of me and will give it 100 per cent,” he said.