A special ceremony honouring Cork’s former lord mayors Tomás MacCurtain and Terence MacSwiney took place on Friday.
The names of both former lord mayors were added to the Roll of Honorary Citizens of Cork City during the ceremony which was held by Cork City Council.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a traditional special ceremony in City Hall could not take place, so the ceremony was broadcast on Cork City Council’s YouTube channel.
Present at the ceremony were Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Joe Kavanagh and his wife Stephanie, Chief Executive of Cork City Council Ann Doherty, Cork City Librarian David O'Brien, Senior Archivist of Cork and County Archives Brian McGee, granddaughter of Tomás MacCurtain Fionnuala MacCurtain, and harpist Ruth McDonnell and mace bearers Séan Finn and John Kenneally.
The roll of honour dates back over the centuries and is of historic significance to the city of Cork.
Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Joe Kavanagh said that he is “privileged” to be a successor in office to both Tomás MacCurtain and Terence MacSwiney, who he said both gave their lives for Cork and Ireland and to a cause they believed in.
“In my role as Lord Mayor of Cork, one of the elements that impressed me most over the past 12 months, was the interest and pride that the people of Cork have in the legacy of former Lord Mayor MacCurtain and Lord Mayor MacSwiney.
"It is appropriate that we enshrine the principles and values of the men and women who played their part in the events of that era and reflect the pride in Cork and its people and the roles they played in the events of the commemoration period,” he said.
The Lord Mayor made the proposal to add MacCurtain and MacSwiney's names to the roll of honour last year and acknowledged and commended his fellow elected members for their unanimous support at the meeting of An Chomhairle of October 12, 2020.
His proposal, which was seconded by Councillor Kenneth Collins, was met with unanimous support from city councillors.
Speaking to, Cllr Collins said that history had been made on Friday and that it was “absolutely fantastic” that both former lord mayors who “died for Irish freedom and for us to have our voice” were honoured.
“I spoke to Fionnuala MacCurtain and the families today and they are just delighted that the honour has been bestowed upon them. They deserve it, they’re two men that everyone in the city knows.
“The GAA has two cups names after them too, the MacSwiney cup and MacCurtain cup. Hurling for MacCurtain and football for MacSiwney so the GAA acknowledged them a long time ago too,” he said.
He congratulated the Lord Mayor and City Hall officials on the special ceremony.