East Cork Councillor Pondering a Political Comeback

By Seamus Whelehan

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A former East Cork Cllr is set to make a return to political life.
Sean O’Connor who served on the Cobh Urban Council for almost three decades is engineering a comeback to run as an independent in next year’s local election.
A onetime vote getter for Fianna Fail, O’Connor has topped the poll in Cobh successively at one point receiving the highest first preference votes in the country at three and a half quotas.
In 1997 he was disenfranchised from the party three months ahead of the general election for not supporting the party’s stance on introduction of service charges in Cork County.
That year he ran as Independent in the General election but was unsuccessful.
He was elected to Cobh Urban district Council as an independent in 1999 and 2004 but was unsuccessful in securing a seat on the straight road in both years.
He eventually made it to county hall in 2009 on the final count.
In 2014 O’Connor decided to retire from politics as he felt the redrawing of the electoral boundary was too big for him to represent the people effectively.
Following the abolition of town Council’s the Cobh electoral area expanded to include Ballynaglogh, Blackpool, Caherlag, Carrignavar, Carrigtohill, Cobh Rural, Cobh Urban, Glenville, Knockraha, Rathcooney, Riverstown and Whitechurch.
Speaking to the East Cork Journal Mr O’Connor said he would seriously consider a return to politics as an independent if the boundaries were redrawn.
He said following the passing of Cllr Claire Cullinane in 2016 and the possible retirement of Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy from public life, he feels he can fill a political vacuum.
A review is currently underway in respect of electoral area boundaries for local elections to be held in 2019.
The commission are expected to make their recommendations in the next six months. If the current City boundary extension is legislated for it could see the Cobh municipal district reduced to Glounthaune, Carrigtwohill and Cobh, although there is a possibility Cobh would be bunched into East Cork Municipality.

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