New Mayor wants to get out and inspire people

By Brendan Grehan

Former Green Party TD Paul Gogarty has been elected mayor of South Dublin County Council.

Mayor Gogarty (non-party) says his plans for the year come under three themes, a healthy county, a sustainable county and a listening county.

Mayor Paul Gogarty 30062017

He was elected to the Dáil in 2002 representing Dublin Mid-West, later entering government in 2007 in the Fianna Fáil-Green Party coalition before losing his seat in 2011.

A colourful character, Mayor Gogarty is a trained journalist and a talented musician.

He came to popular attention in 2009 for saying “f*** you” to then Labour TD Emmet Stagg during exchanges in the Dáil.

In 2013, he released an album and several singles under the name His Sweet Surprise.

Mayor Gogarty was elected last Friday at the the Annual meeting of SDCC.

Tributes were paid to the outgoing Mayor, Councillor Guss O’Connell (non-party) and Deputy Mayor Martina Genockey (LAB), who thanked their fellow Councillors, Chief Executive, Daniel McLoughlin and the management and staff of the Council for their help and support during their term in office.

Councillor Gogarty was proposed for Mayor by Councillor Liona O’Toole (non-party) and was seconded by Councillor Danny O’Brien (Sinn Féin), Councillor Breeda Bonner (LAB) representing the Clondalkin Electoral Area was elected Deputy Mayor.

Councillor Bonner was proposed as Deputy Mayor by Councillor Mick Duff (LAB) and seconded by Councillor Mark Ward (Sinn Féin).

Speaking afterwards to The Echo, Mayor Gogarty sad he was looking forward to the year ahead.

He outlined the three themes of his Mayorship.

He said: “The first theme is I want a healthy county. I want to promote health and well being and to encourage exercise. I want to showcase the many services already available in our county to help people develop their minds or improve their fitness. I want to promote the benefits of healthy eating and exercise on physical and mental well-being and look at ways of helping people to develop healthy habits that will help them reach their personal and professional goals.”

Mayor Gogarty said his second theme is “a sustainable county” where he will promote good environmental practices. He said: “We need to be more self-sufficient. We are at risk of being fined by the EU if we don’t reduce our carbon emissions. I am going to purchase a 100 per cent electric car this year as part of my commitment.”

He added:” I want to set South Dublin with a target to become the leading local authority in energy-efficiency and energy self-sufficiency in Ireland, which will also have a knock on effect on job creation.”

His final theme is he wants the county to be a “listening county”. He said: “We need to be able to respond to people. A good example of this was the participatory budget scheme for Lucan and Palmerstown earlier this year where people got to vote on how they wanted the budget spent.”

He added: “We need to get out and inspire people. I would like to give old people more of a say. One thing I am looking at is having a Mayor’s walk where we will walk from one part of the county to another.”

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