12 October 2020
By Tom Collins
To mark the centenary of their deaths, Cork City Council has agreed unanimously, following a recommendation by the Lord Mayor, to add the names of its two patriot Lord Mayors, Terence MacSwiney and Tomas MacCurtain to the roll of honorary citizens of Cork City. The roll of honour dates back over the centuries and is of historic significance to the city of Cork.
The current (2020-2021) Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Joe Kavanagh said:
“Our patriot Lord Mayors hold a special place in the hearts of our citizens and in this Centenary year, it is important that we honour and and respect them. Making both Tomás MacCurtain and Terence MacSwiney honorary citizens is historic and hugely significant. Therefore, it is wholly appropriate that in this year of commemorations – a year of events that has been enormously compromised by the pandemic – that we add these two hugely influential figures to our city’s roll of honour.”
The announcement was made at this evening’s meeting of Cork City Council. Speaking following the announcement, Sinn Fein Councillor Ken Collins said;
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“This is a fitting tribute to our martyred mayors in the centenary year of their deaths. It has been extremely difficult to organise commemorations to mark the seismic events of 1920 due to the Covid-19 emergency.
“Conferring this honour on Tomás Mac Curtáin and Terence Mac Swiney shows the height of esteem and respect in which their memories are held by the people of their beloved Cork. It will also draw the attention of younger people to the legacy of these iconic republican revolutionaries who shaped the course of the war for independence in Cork and beyond. The honour also recognises the incredible contribution of both men to the promotion of the Irish language and culture during their lives.
“I have spoken to members of both the Mac Curtáin and MacSwiney families and they are absolutely delighted that this honour is to be awarded to two men whose sacrifices have reverberated through our history. To us they are heroes without peer but to their families they were fathers, husbands and brothers – ordinary people doing extraordinary things for their people and the freedom of their country.
“The stories of Mac Curtáin and MacSwiney are living inspiration to all us today and we look to build an Ireland worthy of their sacrifices, a country of which they would be really proud.”