NEWCASTLE West’s new county councillor, Fine Gael’s Damien Riedy, has said that he is “humbled” by the opportunity to carry on the work of Deputy Patrick O’Donovan.
The Rathina native was formally co-opted onto Limerick County Council, following his success at a Fine Gael selection convention in Templeglantine on Monday night.
He was chosen to fill Deputy O’Donovan’s seat ahead of his first cousin and fellow local party activist, Bridget Mulcahy.
Cllr Riedy, a 33-year-old married father-of-two who has his own carpentry business in Newcastle West, is a member of a long-standing local Fine Gael family. His father, Paddy, was a lieutenant for former TD and Senator Michael Finucane and canvassed for Deputy O’Donovan ahead of last month’s election.
Cllr Riedy received a warm welcome from his new council colleagues and speaking beforehand he paid tribute to his predecessor and “life long friend”.
“I was totally overwhelmed, even just walking around. I still can’t believe I’m here,” he said of his first day in the council chamber. “I’d like to wish Patrick O’Donovan all the best. He was an outstanding councillor. He’s a life long friend and has left me big shoes to fill, but I’m absolutely delighted. It’s a humbling experience.
“I firmly believe that myself and Patrick, working as a team, will help bring more progress to West Limerick.”
Monday night’s selection convention was attended by 140 delegates from across West Limerick, and was chaired by Leonora Carey, brother of Clare TD Joe Carey and member of the Fine Gael executive council.
Five candidates had initially put their names forward to contest Deputy O’Donovan’s seat, but prior to the convention Jim Ambrose, Pat Whelan and Mary Danaher all withdrew from the race.
Throughout the co-option process, Deputy O’Donovan deliberately played no part in deciding who should succeed him, stating that it was the local Fine Gael branch’s decision.
Following his convention success, Cllr Riedy was proposed and seconded to fill Deputy O’Donovan’s seat by his Fine Gael Newcastle West area colleagues, Cllr Jerome Scanlan and Cllr Liam Galvin.