New Lord Mayor of Cork takes up chain of office

New Lord Mayor of Cork takes up chain of office

The newly elected Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald, with his wife Lady Mayoress Georgina Fitzgerald, and daughters Michelle and Deborah, at City Hall last night. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

NO city in Ireland has greater potential than Cork.

That was the message of the new Lord Mayor, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald, who urged the city to take advantage of its potential and develop in the coming years.

Mr Fitzgerald was last night elected Lord Mayor of Cork, replacing the outgoing Lord Mayor, Cllr Des Cahill in the role.

He was voted in by 25 votes to four.

Speaking last night, Mr Fitzgerald said that the city’s global profile is now more important than ever.

He said the city is primed for an influx of investment from Britain and Europe in the coming years - if the right steps “There is no other city in Ireland that has similar potential for new urbanism”, he said.

Newly-elected Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Tony Fitzgerald celebrates with his wife, the lady Mayoress Georgina Fitzgerald, his parents, Maura and Tom Fitzgerald, and other family members in Knocknaheeny last night.  	Picture: Eddie O’Hare
Newly-elected Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Tony Fitzgerald celebrates with his wife, the lady Mayoress Georgina Fitzgerald, his parents, Maura and Tom Fitzgerald, and other family members in Knocknaheeny last night. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

Mr Fitzgerald becomes the first Fianna Fáil Lord Mayor since 2014, with his election coming after 17 years on Cork City Council.

A community health worker, he has been at the centre of the city’s Healthy Cities work, recognised by the WHO for his efforts.

He served as Deputy Lord Mayor in 2011 and will have Togher councillor Fergal Dennehy, son of former Lord Mayor and TD John Dennehy, as his own deputy for the coming months.

Joined on the night by his parents Maura and Tom, wife Georgina, daughters Deborah and Michelle and siblings John, Tomás, Christine and Ann, Mr Fitzgerald spoke of his pride and privilege at being elected Cork’s first citizen.

He paid tribute to his family for their unwavering support throughout his career in politics to date. “They are my heroes,” he said. “I love them dearly and thank them for their encouragement and support on my journey to this office.”

Among the guests in attendance on the night were Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and TD Billy Kelleher, as well as a number of senators and four former Lords Mayor.

The Knocknaheeny councillor noted his family background on both sides of the river and committed to representing the entire city in the coming months.

Mr Fitzgerald said he plans to put a spotlight on connecting the city, improving early years options for families and celebrating community and volunteer groups.

“This city has a history of collaboration, community development and volunteerism,” he said.

“The resilience gets us through the difficult times and has allowed Cork to emerge as a major city.”

Mr Fitzgerald also noted the importance of making real progress in relation to housing and homelessness.

“This is not about numbers, it’s about real people, their fears and their worries,” he said.

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