FIANNA Fáil councillor Joe Carroll was unanimously elected as the new Cathaoirleach of Cork County Council’s West Cork Municipal District at the district’s meeting held in Skibbereen recently.
Cllr Carroll replaces Dunmanway-based independent councillor and county mayor Declan Hurley in the role.
Bantry independent councillor Danny Collins was also unanimously elected in the role of Leas-Chathaoirleach for the coming year.
Reflecting on his year as Cathaoirleach Cllr Hurley said it was an honour to serve in the role and that he was encouraged to see communities engaging more with the new local government structure. He said a personal highlight for him was the opening of Dunmanway’s long-awaited new swimming pool and he wished Cllr Carroll well for the coming year.
Cllr Carroll said that he would do his best to maintain the progress of the previous year and that his top priorities for the coming 12 months would be investment in roads and the proposed twinning with Scituate, Massachusetts.
Cllr Carroll said that the only way forward on the roads issue was to keep up the pressure on the Department of Transport and to make the case for more funding for roads in west Cork. He said that a recent meeting between the new mayor, other members of the council and Transport Minister Shane Ross would keep the issue on the agenda and he would continue to make the case for increased funding.
According to Cllr Carroll €90 million in road taxes was leaving the county every year. He said that proposed works in Dunmanway and Drimoleague were being held up by Irish Water and that the County Council should go ahead and demand that the water authority should be obliged to return the roads in the condition they found them after they complete their works.
On the twinning issue he said that with new flights now operating from Cork to Boston now was the ideal time to get the process going.