Cappoquin publican Nora Flynn was elected Mayor for the second time in the history of Waterford Co Council when, as expected, Fine Gael and Labour formed a pact to take control of the local authority at its annual general meeting in Dungarvan on Friday last.
The Fine Gael councillor, who became the first woman chairperson of the Co Council in 1998, defeated Cllr Jim Tobin (FF) in a “token contest”. She has been a member of the Council for the last 18 years. Her Lismore-based party colleague Declan Doocey was elected Deputy Mayor unopposed.
Proposing Cllr Flynn for the Office of Mayor, FG whip John Carey said she would make an excellent Mayor. Since first being elected in 1991 she had done tremendous work in the Lismore Electoral Area.
Seconding her candidacy Cllr Doocey said she gave great service to the people of West Waterford and was a fitting person to hold the office.
Cllr Tobin was proposed by Cllr Pat Daly (FF) and seconded by Tom Cronin. In a recorded vote, Cllr Flynn was elected 15:6 with the two Sinn Fein councillors Brendan Mansfield and Pat Fitzgerald abstaining.
In her address, Cllr Flynn described her election as First Citizen as one of the highlights of her political career. She called on all groups on the Council to work together during the next five years in the interests of Co Waterford and its citizens. There had always been difficult decisions to be made and in the present climate it would not get easier, she said.
A former chairperson of the Association of County & City Councils, the new Mayor, who succeeds her fellow Fine Gael member Dr Tom Higgins, thanked her family for their support since she entered politics, especially her husband Danny, with whom she runs the Central Bar in Cappoquin, as well as her campaign team and supporters.
She had a special welcome for her father William O’Donoghue, who attended the meeting and sat in the public gallery during the election and was given a round of applause by the entire council.