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Fianna Fáil city councillor Tony Fitzgerald. Pic: Tony O'Connell Photography
Fianna Fáil city councillor Tony Fitzgerald. Pic: Tony O'Connell Photography
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Fianna Fáil's Tony Fitzgerald is thenew Lord Mayor of Cork

KNOCKNAHEENY councillor Tony Fitzgerald will this evening become the Lord Mayor of Cork.

He will become the first Fianna Fáil councillor to wear the chain since 2014 and the first northsider to take office since 2010.

Under the system adopted by Cork City Council at the start of this council term, Fianna Fáil are set to be allocated the seat at tonight's meeting, with Mr Fitzgerald given the nod by his fellow party members.

He will replace the outgoing Lord Mayor, Cllr Des Cahill, with the former butcher from Ballintemple representing the city with distinction over the last year on four continents and at 12 of events each week.

Mr Fitzgerald, a HSE support worker based at St Mary's Road, is heavily involved in youth and community work and has worked with numerous voluntary bodies in the area.

He cites the need to regenerate Knocknaheeny as one of the primary reasons he got into politics, joining an already-active local campaign some years ago.

He was first elected to Cork City Council in 2004 and has been returned with a bigger margin each time since.

In addition to serving as Deputy Lord Mayor in 2011, Mr Fitzgerald has spearheaded Cork's Healthy Cities efforts and has been recognised by the World Health Organisation for this work.

He has also chaired the Joint Policing Committee and a number of sub-committees on Cork City Council in the last thirteen years.

Despite being a proud representative of the northside, Mr Fitzgerald was born on Douglas Street. His family comes from Cove Street, Turner's Cross and Fairhill and he has commmitted to being a Lord Mayor for the entire city.

Over the coming twelve months, he will be at the forefront of any efforts to extend the city boundary, while he will also welcome some 700 delegates to a major UNESCO lifelong learning conference in September.

He has noted the importance of getting the long-awaited Northern Ring Road off the ground as a priorty for his term, as well as the further regeneration of the northside and the delivery of housing throughout the city.