Popular local councillor Paul Cuddihy – a former Mayor of Kilkenny and cathaoirleach of the county council – will not contest next year’s local elections.
Cllr Cuddihy, a sitting member of Kilkenny Borough Council for the last 20 years, and of Kilkenny County Council for the last 15 years, confirmed to the Kilkenny People this week he would not be running. He is one of the longest-sitting members of the current borough council/Corporation.
He informed his Fine Gael Party colleagues of his decision at a meeting last night. Cllr Cuddihy was regarded by many to have had a strong chance of securing a seat in 2014.
He said he wanted to make it clear that he had not fallen out with anyone or had a row, but that his committments had changed in recent times. He now intends to spend more time looking after his father, and himself also.
The Fine Gael councillor, who teaches at Kilkenny College, added that he had to consider the needs of his students. Increased numbers of council meetings and engagements from next year on would have meant missing more classes, which he is not prepared to do.
“I love my job in teaching,” he said.
“I don’t take this decision lightly. I am very grateful to the public, and to all the people who have helped, advised and supported me over the years.”
Cllr Cuddihy leaves behind a widely-lauded legacy of achievement, recognised across Party lines. He was a popular public representative among those in business, the arts, and the local community generally.
He will see out his final term on both councils up until next May’s elections.
Substantial changes to the local electoral areas are on the way at that date, with the city to be divided into east and west districts. The number of councillors is also to be reduced.
With the Fine Gael selection conventions imminent, it is not yet known which candidates will stand. In the past few weeks, three other sitting Fine Gael county councillors – Catherine Connery, Tom Maher and Jane Galwey – have all said they will not seek re-election either.