FINE Gael Councillor Joe Kavanagh looks set to be the next Lord Mayor of Cork City, as his party intends to nominate him at the AGM of Cork City Council on Friday.
The North East Ward councillor served as Deputy Lord Mayor for the 2016/2017 term, and was first elected in 2011.
“I did a lot of deputising for Lord Mayors over the years so I suppose this is my opportunity. I’m a community man at heart, first and foremost, rather than a political animal,” Councillor Kavanagh told.
His party colleague Councillor Des Cahill is set to propose councillor Kavanagh, and said he is looking forward to him being Lord Mayor for a year, calling him a “very hardworking, diligent councillor”.
Mr Kavanagh said that he hopes to work on three key areas in his term as Mayor - including getting the city back on its feet after the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuring centenary commemorations continue later in the year.
“I think it’s critically important that, for what is left for the remainder of this year and the first six months of 2021, we put our best foot forward as a city.
“I know we’re hoping to have a national celebration here at the back end of this year, so I hope to be at the forefront of that, working with officials and all the relevant stakeholders,” he said.
Thirdly, he wants to raise awareness of the environment and the scourge of litter, having set up the Mayfield St Luke's Tidy Towns group in 2017.
“The one thing that does irk me is when I see things like fly-tipping.
“I intend to work with local stakeholders such as schools and community organisations to try and raise awareness of littering of all kinds.”
The AGM on Friday will be essentially behind closed doors, and Mr Kavanagh said his wife, parents and two sons will be there, but no extended family can attend due to public health guidelines.
“Unfortunately, it’ll be a quiet event from a public gallery perspective but it’ll be a historic event as well, because it’s going to be held in the concert hall. Cork City Council do these things well.”
The current voting pact sees Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, the Green Party and Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy vote together.
It’s expected there will be another candidate outside the pact nominated for the position, but they aren’t likely to get the required number of votes to win.