Twenty two year old Darcy Lonergan has been elected as the youngest-ever mayor in Ireland. The Green Party councillor was elected Mayor of Carrickmacross town council in County Monaghan after being nominated by party colleague Councillor Kristina Jankaitiene.
After gaining the nod and the popular vote, Lonergan proved she knew how to craft an inclusive community message.
'In these struggling times when Carrick citizens are feeling a loss both financially and through emigration, I hope we can come together as a community to help our neighbors and foster the social growth of our town,” she told The Journal after her election on Tuesday afternoon.
According to The Journal Lonergan hopes she can help the town's social growth through initiatives like restarting the organic farmers' market and organizing weekend transport for young people which would serve to support environmental measures while encouraging people to socialize and learn more about their community.
'It’s simple stuff that I hope will make a difference,' she said.
Lonergan is also alert to the needs of the town's migrant community, reminding her neighbors that with so many young Irish people emigrating it makes sense to 'accept the new Irish as we would want our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and friends to be treated abroad.'
With a nod toward her own early ascent Lonergan said she hopes she can help demystify politics for people in her area.
'People have this view of what politics are and most people in Ireland don’t know that they have this power. I want to demystify what people in government do and how people can link in to that.'
Alongside her new town council duties as mayor, Lonergan is currently completing a Masters Degree in Leadership for Sustainable Development at Queen’s University, Belfast. As part of her course work, she will be completing an internship in Carrickmacross for the summer.