ACCLAIMED Cork musician and entertainer Joe McCarthy, known as Joe Mac, has been named the recipient of the 2021 Lord Mayor’s Culture Award.
This week Cork City recognises some of its civic, cultural and community leaders with the annual Lord Mayor’s Culture, Civic, and Community and Voluntary Awards.
With Covid-19 restrictions, the traditional awards ceremony in City Hall could not take place, so the awards will take place online.
The handover of the Culture Award to Joe Mac in recognition of his contribution to the arts locally and internationally will be broadcast today at 3.30pm on Cork City Council’s YouTube channel.
The legendary drummer, who has enjoyed an upbeat life in show business for almost 70 years, told The Echo that he was “very humbled and honoured” to receive the award.
“I was very humbled and honoured and very pleased. I was absolutely delighted. At my age, sitting down with my feet up on the pouffe and to get a call from the lord mayor to tell me, it was just fantastic,” he said.
Speaking of the importance of continuing to support culture and music throughout the pandemic, he said that he feels for the “poor musicians” who are out of work, particularly the younger people who “have had nothing since this started”.
The 84-year-old recently overcame Covid-19 after spending some time in hospital. He is fighting fit again and preparing to make a return to the stage as deemed safe to do so when the pubs reopen.
He said that he would continue to play every Sunday from 6pm to 8pm at Canty’s in the city.
“Start queuing up now, because that will be open soon and I will be back. There’ll be a queue down the South Mall to get into Canty’s. People are dying to get out again,” he said.
Speaking of Mr McCarthy’s contribution to Cork, Joe Kavanagh, the lord mayor, said: “With a long career in music, theatre, comedy and business, Joe is as much part of the fabric of Cork as Shandon, the Shakey Bridge or the English Market. He is the city’s favourite mischievous uncle and brings his own positivity, good humour and energy every place he goes.”