‘You can’t plan for this’ – Mary Roche returns to the Council

Eoghan Dalton Reports

A Waterford Councillor has retaken her seat on the local authority after a year-long break.
Cllr Mary Roche (Ind) was co-opted onto Waterford City and County Council last week, taking the seat of Deputy Matt Shanahan who replaced her in January of last year.

Cllr Mary Roche

Cllr Mary Roche

Councillor Roche, who stepped down for family reasons, admitted at City Hall that her co-option was a “groundhog day” for her.
The Independent noted how her reappearance in local politics had caused much chatter in Waterford about whether she had plotted it all along.

Following Matt Shanahan’s co-option last year, he went on to ride a wave of anger around the hospital and top the poll comfortably in Waterford City East. “I wasn’t aware I had caused so much entertainment in the chamber,” Cllr Roche laughed. “People understand that the reason I left at the time was because my mum was very ill and my dad had just passed away.
“The amount of people who think I actually planned this is amazing – but you can’t plan for this kind of thing.”

She was proposed and seconded by Cllrs Joe Conway and Joe Kelly (both Inds).
Cllr Roche added that it was positive to see women coming aboard the Council in place of the members elected to the Oireachtas. “Not that the boys need looking after but it’s always good to keep the balance there.”

She quipped that some of the Council executive management may “wonder if I ever went away” as she kept lobbying them for roads and housing matters via text.
“I hope that I can make a valuable and interesting contribution over the next four or so years,” she said.

She was warmly welcomed back by several members including Cllr Lola O’Sullivan: “It’s great to have her back. She’s always good craic in and out of the chamber so I look forward to working with her again.”

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