‘My life never changed’- Ian McGarvey

By Dionne Meehan

FORMER Donegal County Councillor Ian McGarvey said his life has “never changed” despite retiring from local politics earlier this year.

The 93-year-old Ramelton man stepped away from his role as Ireland’s oldest councillor in January after dedicating 18 years to representing the Milford area.


Speaking to the Donegal News this week, Mr McGarvey said he can’t see himself as retired as he is still doing the same things.

“My life never changed, it is not a bit different.

“Anything that I did for people then, I would still do the same now,” he said.

Long before Mr McGarvey was elected to Donegal County Council, he spent 57 years working tirelessly to help those in his community.

After trying numerous times, Mr McGarvey was first elected to Donegal County Council as an Independent in 2004 at the age of 73.

“As a community activist I felt going into Donegal County Council was a different area where I could create more of an impact and be more beneficial to the people I wanted to represent,” he said.

In 2012, Mr McGarvey became the first Independent Mayor of Donegal, and later the Mayor of Letterkenny-Milford.


“I stood for the Dáil a couple of times as well and I saw that as a further opportunity because I realised the system and how it operates and where you need to be to deliver what you would like to deliver,” he said.

With Mr McGarvey also being the Chairperson of the Milford Community Action Group for almost two decades, he confirmed that he was also recently offered to resign from that too.

“I had the feeling that maybe others thought when I would resign from Donegal County Council and pass it on to somebody else younger that it would be more beneficial to the people.

“That’s why I had no hesitation at all about retiring,” he said.

Entering local politics to help his neighbours, Mr McGarvey said he never wanted to be declared as someone more important than anyone else.

“The Constitution in Ireland states in section 40 and 41 that we treat our people equally.

“Anything that I could do for anybody, it was a pleasure for me,” he said.

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