Ballinahown councillor Connie Hanniffy has revealed she’s stepping down as a local representative and won’t be seeking re-election to Offaly County Council this year.
Speaking to the Offaly Independent Cllr Hanniffy said she made the decision not to run on the advice of medical consultants and with her family in mind.
The councillor who has 40 years of experience successfully battled breast cancer two years ago, and underwent a hysterectomy last year.
While Cllr Hanniffy is in good health now, she said her decision was prompted by the knowledge that an intensive election campaign might not be good for her body. “I’m in full health,” she said, “but it’s up to me to mind it.”
Cllr Hanniffy was first elected to Offaly County Council in 1974, aged just 25, and was the council’s first female councillor.
“That was a huge barrier to break through,” she remembered. “At that time it was a very male dominated area.”
Cllr Hanniffy has worked as a local representative not only with Offaly County Council, but also with the Midland Regional Auithority, the Border Midlands and Western Regional Assembly, the Association of County and City Councils and on the Committee of the Regions in Brussels.
“I’m going out at the height of my career,” the 64-year-old said, adding that she had to “wrestle with the decision”.
Cllr Hanniffy said having made the decision not to seek re-election she’s now looking at other options in the hope of continuing her work “under other banners”. “It’s all guns still blazing,” she said.