25 June 2016
By Tom O’Sullivan
Last evening Cork City got a new Lord Mayor, his name is Des Cahill, Cllr Des Cahill. Below is his maiden speech
Táim fíor, fíor buíoch daoibh as ucht an onóir iontach atá bronnta ormsa anocht anseo i Halla na Cathrach,Cathair Chorcaí. Rugadh agus tógadh mé sa chathair seo. Is aoibhinn liom an chathair seo agus a dhaoine.
Is ocáid an-speisialta i mo shaol féin agus i saol mo chlann bheith tofa mar Ardmhéara.
Geallaim daoibh go ndeánfaidh mé mo sheacht ndicheall in oifig an Ardmhéara feabhas a dhéanamh sna rudaí atá ag cur isteach ar shaol na cathrach go mór mhór i gcúrsaí gnó agus saol sóisialta na cathrach.
Sin an t-ídéal atá mar aidhm agam
I am very grateful to you for the honour you have bestowed on me tonight. I was born and raised in this city and tonight I have been awarded the position of Lord Mayor. A very special occasion for me and for my family.
I promise you that I will do my utmost to face the economic and social issues that are affecting the life of our city throughout this year.
That is an ideal for me as Lord Mayor. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Cllr. Chris O’Leary who did a lot of good work during his year as Lord Mayor.
On a personal level, I would like to say that in moments like this, when a great honour or outcome occurs, it is also a time of reflection.
When I look at the gallery tonight and see many friends and family members who influenced me throughout my life it is very humbling.
Indeed it is a very welcome change from the gallery of protestors shouting at me for my party beliefs and decisions made while hard were needed, which is why I welcome the role of Lord Mayor as a-political.
Friendships are measured when times are tough and help and advice is needed, god knows I have tested my friendships a fair deal and this is why I am very thankful to be standing here tonight in front of my many friends as Lord Mayor.
But sadly the most influential people in my life are no longer with us.
In the last year my mother Dina passed away, while my dad Bob a few years earlier.
My mother was an amazing woman who had an incredible work ethic and a lady full of compassion. While doing the books for my Uncle Tom, and my dad’s shop in Princes Street, managing a dozen flats that she and my dad had built up, running a house with four children, a grandmother and a great aunt, it was not unusual to have strangers at the dinner table that she met during the day, who for one reason or another were in need.
My parents instilled that work ethic and compassion in all of us at home.
They also created an environment that anything was possible through hard work, and that you should never knock or put down a competitor but you should always put forward your own strengths and abilities.
Tonight is also missing two great ladies who were very supportive and close to me and my family.
Fiona my sister in law who was the first family member to canvas for me, very sadly passed away almost three years ago, and also her mother Musette who just recently passed away.
If one word could encapsulate what I wish to instil in the people of Cork this coming year, it’s positivity.
For hundreds of years Cork was a major player in the world, as a trading city, due to our Port. From butter, cattle, coal, timer, the great exhibition, the buttery, the English Market and so on.
This rich history would not have succeeded based on geography alone, it was successful because of the work ethic, ambition and self belief of the Cork people.
It is in our DNA to succeed.
Indeed look at Cork today, City Gate, 1 Albert Quay, Opera Lane, Capital Cinema site, Anderson’s Quay, Pairc Uí Chaoimh, Oliver Plunkett Street and on and on.
The list of the world’s leading companies based in Cork is endless.
They are located here in our great city because they recognise the fantastic blend of talent due to our third level institutions and blend of lifestyle available on our doorstep which is varied and diverse.
Quite simply “We are Cork”.
While others see the glass as half empty, we in Cork see it as half full.
I as Lord Mayor will unashamedly boast about Cork, why you should live, shop, visit and work here.
Every city has its challenges, obviously there are aspects of our city and suburbs that need to be improved.
We most endeavour to do our best to improve all aspects of our city, for ALL its citizens. We should always lead with positive actions and a collective purpose for the betterment of our beautiful city and its people.
Cork City now more than ever needs to become known again as a positive city. Positive in living, positive in business, a city where all possibilities are achievable.
We all know that Cork is special, after the last decade of recession, it is time now for Cork to stand tall.
As First Citizen I promise you that I will stand tall for Cork.
-New Lord Mayor of Cork City, Cllr Des Cahill (Fine Gael)