Richard Nagle has said the time was right to retire from his position as an elected representative of Clare County Council.
Nagle will not contest May’s local elections despite being selected as a Fianna Fáil candidate in December. His upcoming retirement was first reported by The Clare Champion, it now means the party will be without a sitting candidate in the Ennistymon electoral area as Cllr Michael Hillery announced his decision to retire last year.
“I have been considering my personal situation for some time, I was finding due to family and personal circumstances that I was considering it, he revealed.
Speaking to The Clare Echo, Cllr Nagle declared, “It wasn’t a decision I didn’t make lightly, I gave it some consideration and it just wasn’t feasible for me at this time. It wasn’t something that I made on the spur of the moment, I made it when I felt time was right”. He added, “Politics is stressful at times and one couldn’t do it without the support of their family and obviously they were involved in the decision I made”.
A county councillor since 1997, one of the constant issues he has had to deal with is Blake’s Corner. He confirmed that constant debate regarding the traffic blackspot had no input to his decision. “Blake’s Corner will be solved, the bridge will go ahead within the next year or two, that problem has been dealt with. The bridge will be provided, it is an infrastructural project that is vital to North Clare, I was delighted to be involved with coming up with a solution and we need a solution as quickly as possible and I can well understand how people are both annoyed and concerned about the traffic gridlock that Blake’s Corner is causing”.
As well as giving up his seat on the Council, Richard will also have to depart his new role on the board of Cliffs of Moher which he was appointed to in November.
No potential successor to Cllr Hillery had been announced since the Ennistymon selection convention. Cllr Nagle admitted he had no part to play in attempting to find a replacement to the Spanish Point councillor but was adamant Fianna Fáil would not struggle to field a strong party ticket for North Clare. “Fianna Fáil like every political party has people who retire for one reason or another or who don’t contest elections. They are used to replacing them and when vacancies occur there are always people who come forward to contest elections and it will be no different on this occasion”.
During the course of this Council term, the Liscannor man has served as the Chair of the Economic Development SPC, he outlined what he hopes to achieve in his final three months in the role, “There are a number of exciting projects that we have been promoting and one would hope over the next three months that projects in Ennis in particular that have we coming before us that a variation in the County Development Plan in this month or next to facilitate the job creation in Ennis, there are a number of things one would hope would happen before the end of this Council term”.
In 2012, the father of three retired from his teaching post at Kilkee. In the intervening seven years, his political duties have ensured he has had little time to himself. For his plans post May, the sixty four year old said, “I would hope to have more time to do many things that I never had the opportunity to do before. When you’re involved in local politics you are quite busy and it tends to take precedence over everything else, now I’ll have an opportunity to do stuff that I didn’t have the opportunity to do before”.