John Loughnan installed as new Clon Mayor
PHOTO: New Clonakilty Mayor John Loughnan, (centre), with his Mayoral Council colleagues, Anthony McDermott, Colette Twomey, Gretta O’ Donovan, (Deputy Mayor) and Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin at Asna Square last Thursday after the Mayoral Changeover ceremony. (Photo: Édaín Ní Dhomhnaill).
The flag of the Borough of Clonakilty fluttered at Asna Square last Thursday as John Loughnan was installed as Clonakilty's new voluntary, non-political, community Mayor at a pleasant ceremony witnessed by a large crowd, which included Jim Daly, TD, Michael Collins, TD; local County Councillors Paul Hayes and John O’ Sullivan; Mons. Aidan O’ Driscoll, PP and Rev. Kingsley Sutton. Earlier, the five members of the Mayoral Council, led by outgoing Mayor Anthony McDermott, met at O’ Donovan’s Hotel and marched from there to Asna Square for the 8pm Changeover Ceremony.
Clonakilty Mayoral Changeover this Thursday
Clonakilty's new voluntary, directly-elected, non-political, community Mayor will be inaugurated this Thursday evening 8th June at 8pm at a public ceremony at Asna Square
Outgoing Mayor Anthony McDermott will be stepping down after his busy year and the chain of office will be passed onto John Loughnan, who will hold the position for the next year. Gretta O’ Donovan will step into the Deputy Mayor position.
After the abolition of all the town councils in 2014, the people of Clonakilty got together and held a special election in which five candidates were elected for one year each as voluntary, ceremonial, non-statutory Mayors, and hold the position in the order in which they were elected by the people.
It is the only town in the whole of Ireland to undertake such a project, which is very popular with locals. On average the Mayors attend between 150 - 170 engagements per year and being totally voluntary, receive no payment or expenses of any sort.
Anthony McDermott was installed as the new Mayor of Clonakilty on Thursday evening 9th June at a pleasant ceremony attended by a large crowd at Asna Square.
Invitation to Mayoral Changeover at Astna Square
The Clonakilty Mayoral Council invites the people of Clonakilty and surrounding areas to the Mayoral Changeover this Thursday evening 4th June at 8.00pm at Astna Square (note change of venue)
Mayor Colette Twomey will be standing down after a very busy and successful year as Mayor of Clonakilty and will be handing over the Mayoral Chain and Robe to Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin.
We would particularly like to welcome representatives of local voluntary groups and organisations who do so much to make Clonakilty such a special place, young people, schools, etc.
New Chain of Office presented to Clonakilty Mayor
When the government abolished Clonakilty's town council last year, (along with all other 80), the people of the town and wider community, led by a sub-committee of the local Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage group, organised a special election so that the people could directly elect five people to hold the position of Mayor of Clonakilty on a rotation basis over the following five years.
For several months after their election, the Clonakilty Mayoral Council, headed by the new Mayor Colette Twomey, lobbied County Council elected and non-elected representatives seeking to have the old Town Council Mayoral Chain and Robe "gifted" to it. The intention was that these items would be worn by the Mayor of the day at official events.
Despite great support from the County Councillors in West Cork, County Council officialdom resisted this move, and after several months the campaign was abandoned.
The Mayor was using a "chain" from the outset, thanks to Tomás Tuipéar who was Cathaoirleach of the Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage Mayoral Council Committee that worked to establish the Mayoral Council and organised and ran the historic election, etc.
On 8th December 2014, at the official switch-on of the Christmas Lights by Mayor Colette Twomey, Tomás on behalf of his committee presented the Mayor with a new Robe.
Earlier this week, the jig-saw was completed, when Tomás presented the Mayor with a new, upgraded Mayoral Chain that he has been working on for several months.
Clonakilty Mayoral Election
The inaugural and historic Clonakilty Mayoral Council election was held at Scoil na mBuachaillí last Saturday which saw 1,588 people (36% of the electorate), returning to vote a day after the County Council and Euro Elections.
Eight candidates were on the ballot paper to fill five seats. Even before the polling station opened at 9am, people were waiting to vote, and there was a steady and consistent stream up to 7pm that evening at close of polling. Throughout the day, a rota of around 40 people – including ten Transition Year students from Sacred Heart Secondary School manned the polling booths to ensure the smooth running of the election.