Two councillors served on first South Dublin County Council 25 years ago

By William O'Connor

BETWEEN them, Councillors Guss O’Connell (Independent) and Charlie O’Connor (Fianna Fáil) have been elected to South Dublin County Council eight times.

This year the local authority celebrates 25 years and the two elected councillor sat on the first council back in 1994 with the first meeting held in RTC Tallaght (now TU Dublin Tallaght Campus). They have seen a lot of changes since then.

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Charlie O'Connor Fianna Fail and Guss O’Connell (Independent) have been elected to South Dublin County Council eight times.

“I have seen plenty of changes in the council and a lot of new faces,” remarked Councillor Guss O’Connell.

“There was only 26 councillors sitting on South Dublin in 1994 but now we have 40 and the wards changed for this election.

“Back in 1994, the main issues were planning and the environment and the same issues were raised on this campaign.

“This year we had Clonburris, but back then it was Quarryvale and Liffey Valley.”

Cllr O’Connell was Mayor three years ago and was also Deputy Mayor on three different occasion during his term.

Charlie O’Connor (Fianna Fáil)

“The community section within the council has developed, which is great. There are big investments in play areas over the past few years which is great for the communities and young families.

“The main issues I had was public realm – traffic congestion, lighting and trees and Clonburris was coming up quite a lot.

“I’m a Climate Ambassador with An Taisce and I have a huge commitment to the environment and climate, as I have always had. I did not put up posters during my campaign.

“I’m very happy people are still supporting me,” he added.

Cllr Charlie O’Connor was first to be elected on Saturday night to the new council.

He topped the poll for the second time and on this occasion it was his first time to exceed the quota.

Cllr O’Connor was elected to the South Dublin County Council four times and served as Cathaoirleach in 1999 (now known as Mayor).

Over the years Cllr O’Connor has seen changes and says, “the council is more modern now with a lot more business done through computers. However, enquiries to us are largely the same as 25 years ago.

“The main issues raised at the doors was trees, grass-cutting, litter, graffiti and jobs for young people.

“Jobs came up quite a lot. With Tallaght the third largest population centre in the country, it’s important we support young people.

“Climate change was raised a lot among the young – this is a reflection on how the elections overall went.

“Housing also came up on the doorsteps quite a lot and is an issue always on our agenda.

“I feel sorry for the councillors who lost their seats, but it is very important everyone works together and that’s want the people want,” concluded Councillor O’Connor.

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