CORK city had decided it does not want a directly elected Lord Mayor by a very thin margin.
The plebiscite that was run in conjunction with the local and European elections and a divorce referendum was defeated by 983 votes.
City Hall returning officer Paul Moynihan made the declaration just before 4pm today.
The number of ballot papers cast was 68,682. The number of invalid papers amounted to 971. The valid poll was 67,711. Those in favour amounted to 33,364, while ‘no’ voters amounted to 34,347.
The polling was watched by Fine Gael representatives who accepted defeat shortly before counting finished.
Senator Jerry Buttimer (FG) said he felt a directly elected mayor would have been the right decision for Cork but he respects the vote of the people.
“It’s very disappointing. The margin was so close in the end that if we had got over the line, it would have been a wonderful result for the people of Cork. It’s disappointing in the context that Limerick voted yes. This is still the right thing to do for local Government in Cork,” he added.
Former city Lord Mayor and city council councillor Terry Shannon described Fine Gael’s campaign for a yes vote as “shambolic”, while Solidarity TD Mick Barry said the public feeling was this was a “job for one of the boys”.