TRIBUTES EXTENDED TO DEPARTING CLLR O’CONNOR
COUNCILLORS passed on their best wishes to Cllr Michael O’Connor as he announced he would be resigning his seat on Wicklow County Council.
Cllr O’Connor explained that it has been a difficult decision to make and he had to consider a number of different factors.
He said: ‘This was not an easy decision but it was necessary. I have a full-time job as a solicitor and I recently set up a practice of my own. Before that I used to be part of a partnership. Work as a Councillor is practically a full time job as well. I also felt that my personal life and family issues were eating into my work as a councillor.’
Dermot ‘Daisy’ O’Brien will take the vacant seat and Cllr O’Connor described his replacement as ‘a champion for the people of Bray and Wicklow, especially young people.’
Of his fellow councillors he said: ‘most of you have been helpful to me’ and stated he would remain as active a member of Sinn Fein as possible and ‘remained committed to build a future for our county and country.’
Describing his time on the council, Cllr O’Connor said: ‘It has been an honour, often a pleasure and sometimes a pain.’
Various elected members paid tribute to Cllr O’Connor’s efforts during his time on the council. Cllr Chris Fox related to how difficult it can be to balance a full-time job with being a member of Wicklow County Council.
Cllr Tommy Cullen described Cllr O’Connor as a ‘good councillor who offered his expert legal advice very freely. He will be missed and was professional and honourable.’
Cllr Nicola Lawless said he had been a ‘great asset to the council and we worked very well together. He is not going away and we will still have him by our sides.’
Cllr Joe Behan stated he had been impressed by Cllr O’Connor’s contributions to both Wicklow County Council and Bray Municipal District.
Cllr Gerry Walsh said: ‘He was always fair and concise with his contributions.’
Cllr John Ryan joked: ‘He came to replace John Brady TD and straight away the meetings went an awful lot quicker, so I’d like to thank him for that.’ He continued: ‘He was always very straight forward and easy to deal with. It’s also good to hear that Dermot O’Brien is coming on the council.’
Cllr John Snell said he never knew Cllr O’Connor until he replaced John Brady TD.
‘I think he shone brightest on the Housing SPC where his contribution was invaluable.’
According to Cllr Edward Timmins the departing councillor was ‘very intelligent, business-like and direct.’
Finally Wicklow County Council Cathaoirleach, Cllr Pat Vance, said he could understand why a councillor would want to move on given the demands of the position.
‘You made a very valuable contribution and a reasonable one as well.’
Cllr Michael O’Connor.