LORD Mayor Tony Fitzgerald said that was Jack Lynch was a "great hero" for Cork, comparable to Terence McSwiney and Tomás Mac Curtain, speaking at the late Taoiseach's graveside yesterday.
Hundreds gathered in St Finbarr's Cemetary to mark the centenary of the politician and sport star's birth.
Before laying a wreath on behalf of the people of Cork, speaking to a crowd made up of members of the Lynch family, past pupils of the North Monastery, Cork GAA, The Glen and St Nick's GAA, politicians and Fianna Fáil members, Mr Fitzgerald said that Mr Lynch needed to be recognised more for his successes, like bringing Ireland into Europe, pushing equality for women, and keeping peace with Northern Ireland.
He said that Mr Lynch's achievements for Irish peace made him as significant as earlier heroes like his fellow North Mon boys McSwiney and Mac Curtain.
"He was a man of peace. The journey to peace in Northern Ireland goes back to 1969 when Jack Lynch decided that a peaceful approach to Northern Ireland was the only way forward. Many people now enjoy a peaceful and prosperous environment throughout our land as a result of his legacy and many others.
"MacCurtain and MacSwiney and other great Irish patriots were not violent men and women. They were poets, fathers, mothers, musicians, sweethearts, husbands, and wives. But they were prepared to sacrifice all those things that they held precious in life in pursuit of a singular goal - an independent Ireland that reflected our own values, our own traditions, our own culture.
"When this entire fabric of the state was tested, and noble goals were distorted by a recourse to violence, Jack Lynch, leader and statesman, ploughed the furrow of peace. At home, in school, on the field, in public life, he had the courage to do so," he said.
He also recalled his own interactions with Mr Lynch as a young man involved in sports, and paid tribute to Mr Lynch's wife, Maureen, who is buried with him.
Barry Hill, president of the North Monastery Past Pupils' Union also spoke at the event, and Bishop John Buckley led a decade of the Rosary.