Cork politicians lauded the reign of Micheál Martin following his resignation as taoiseach and his acceptance as Tánaiste.
Lord Mayor of Cork, Fine Gael Councillor Deirdre Forde said Mr Martin was 'steady and competant'.
“The Government with Micheál Martin as taoiseach have been steady and competent during a time of a global pandemic, and Russian War and that is a commendable record.”
County Mayor Independent Councillor Danny Collins said his time in office was too short.
“The Taoiseach elected should do the term of that government whether it’s the full five years or not. I met Micheál on numerous times since becoming Mayor and found him very courteous.”
Minister for Finance Michael McGrath said Ireland was fortunate to have Mr Martin as head of Government for the past two and a half years.
“He will always be regarded as one of our great taoisigh.’
Former Lord Mayor and proud Fianna Fáil man, Councillor Colm Kelleher said it was “an honour and a privilege” to serve as Lord Mayor of Cork with Micheál Martin as taoiseach.
“He did an exemplary job for two and a half years, he served with dignity. It wasn’t an easy time to take over, with Covid and he had to give the nation bad news at times, but I think we all remember the last public announcement when he lifted all restrictions, it was a very happy day!”
President of Cork Business Association Kevin Herlihy said he thought Mr Martin did a fantastic job and and represented Cork city and the country impeccably.
Mr Herlihy said Mr Varadkar had ‘big shoes to fill’.
“I hope he will visit and support the Cork business community like Micheál did.”
Micheál Martin stepped down as taoiseach on Saturday as part of a planned handover of power.
Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar replaced Mr Martin as Taoiseach on Saturday. TDs in the Dáil voted 87 to 62 to support his appointment in a special sitting.
Mr Kelleher said he often attended functions alongside Mr Martin, which he said was very enjoyable.
The Fianna Fáil Councillor thanked Mr Martin for his service as taoiseach and wished his colleague well in his new role at Tánaiste.
“You were steadfast and courageous leading us in an exceptionally challenging period of our history.”
Mr Martin was accompanied by his wife Mary when he tendered his resignation during an audience with Mr Higgins at the presidential residence at Aras an Uachtarain on Saturday.
He said it has been “the honour of a lifetime” to serve the public as taoiseach.
Addressing the Dáil at the start of Saturday’s special sitting, he said: “It is both a privilege and a responsibility to serve as head of government in a free and democratic republic.
Mr Martin gave a nod from the Dáil to his Cork roots, which he said were invaluable throughout his leadership.