“A dream come true” is how 21-year-old James O’Connor described becoming the fourth Councillor to be elected to the Midleton electoral area and the first in the area for Fianna Fail.
Mr O’Connor, who is from an area between Youghal and Killeagh, is the youngest Fianna Fail candidate in the local elections and the youngest candidate for East Cork.
Elected on the sixth count, with 1947 votes, after Sinn Fein candidate Shane Neville was eliminated.
Councillor O’Connor was just under the quota of 1896 on the fifth count by four.
Mr O’Connor came in at 1874, barely under the fifth count with 1892 after Martin Murray (Independent) was eliminated.
James comes from a dairy farm background and is currently studying a degree in business and economics from Trinity College Dublin.
He was supported at the count by his sister Claire, brother Thomas and parents Catherine and Barry.
Speaking to The Echo, James said he was eager to get going and had a lot of ideas.
“I’m delighted the people have gotten behind a young candidate and that County Hall will have a young voice in the council.
“I am very ambitious to get industry going in Youghal. I also want to see more young people in Government.
“I think it is important to improve the mental health services in Cork County and I want to get a wellness programme going in secondary schools and extend the leap card services in the county.” The former member of Cork County Comhairle Na N’og also said traffic congestion in the Midleton area also needs to be addressed.
Mr O’Connor said that representing the Midleton area in Cork County Council was his top priority and he would have to rearrange his college commitments to ensure he would not miss any Council meetings.
“This is my priority for the next five years. I am very grateful to everyone who voted for me, I am thrilled and I just want to thank everyone for supporting me.”