AS he welcomed Echo Boy Dave Hogan to City Hall, the outgoing lord mayor said it was fitting that his final official guest was someone who embodied a Cork tradition 130 years old this year.
Councillor Colm Kelleher had a busy year in office as lord mayor, but he said he was especially delighted that one of the last official acts of his mayoralty was to welcome Mr Hogan to the lord mayor’s chambers.
Mr Hogan is a familiar sight and sound on Oliver Plunkett St as he sells The Echo and the Irish Examiner outside the GPO every day, calling out “Echo!” in what has been known for over a century as “the song of the city”.
This is Mr Hogan’s 44th year in a job in which he has worked six days a week, from 8am to 6pm, in all weathers. He overcame the challenges of cerebral palsy to become an Echo Boy at the age of 10.
Last month, Mr Kelleher introduced the visiting US ambassador Claire D Cronin to Mr Hogan and she was delighted to meet an old-style newspaper vendor.
The meeting was captured in a photograph by Shane O’Sullivan from City Hall’s communications team and Mr Hogan requested a copy to bring to his sister Tracey, when he visits her next week at her home in Texas. Mr Kelleher arranged for a signed copy to be presented this week to Mr Hogan, and he also wrote a letter to Mr Hogan’s sister.
Signing the visitors’ book in the lord mayor’s office, Mr Hogan said he was thrilled to be invited to City Hall and he said his sister was in “a state of shock” when she heard about the occasion.
“It gives me great pleasure to accept this honour on behalf of the Echo Boys of the past, and on behalf of my sister,” Mr Hogan said.
Mr Kelleher said the invitation was a “very small gesture of thanks on behalf of the people of Cork, who Dave has served as an Echo Boy for over 40 years in hail, rain, and shine”.
Mr Hogan thanked Mr Kelleher and Irish Examiner and The Echo circulation manager Seán Murphy, his Echo Boy predecessor and mentor Michael O’Regan, and Peadar Moynihan and his staff in the Long Valley for looking after him down through the years.