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Lord Mayor of Cork

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Lord Mayor of Cork
Ardmhéara Chathair Chorcaí
Kieran McCarthy (Ind)
since June 2023
AppointerCork City Council
Term length1 year
Inaugural holderJohn Despencer (Provost)
Richard Wine (Mayor)
Edward Fitzgerald (Lord Mayor)
Formation1199 (as Provost of Cork)
1273 (as Mayor of Cork)
1900 (as Lord Mayor of Cork)
Salary€47,925 (2016)[1]
WebsiteLord Mayor

The Lord Mayor of Cork (Irish: Ard-Mhéara Chathair Chorcaí) is the honorific title of the Chairperson (Irish: Cathaoirleach)[2] of Cork City Council which is the local government body for the city of Cork in Ireland. The office holder is elected annually by the members of the Council. The incumbent is Kieran McCarthy.[3]

History of office[edit]

In 1199 there is a record of the appointment of a Provost of Cork, as chief magistrate of the city.[4] From 1273 under Edward I there were Mayors of Cork, the first record of the office (as Mayor of Cork) is in a charter granted to the city by Edward II in 1318. The title was changed to Lord Mayor in a charter issued by Queen Victoria on 9 July 1900.[5]

In a ceremony known as Throwing the Dart, the Lord Mayor throws a dart into Cork Harbour at its boundaries, to symbolise the city's control over the port. This tradition was first recorded in 1759, although it is probably older.[6]

Election to the office[edit]

The Lord Mayor is elected to office annually by councillors of Cork City Council from amongst its members. From 1979 to 2014, the position of Lord Mayor was rotated between Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Labour Party on an annual basis as a result of a pact between the three parties which attracted much controversy and public criticism.[7][8]

Following the 2014 local elections, a D'Hondt method was adopted, which rotated the mayoralty between Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, Fine Gael, and independents.[9] Solidarity and the Workers' Party did not join the arrangement, and instead nominated their own candidates.[10]


The office is largely symbolic and its responsibilities consist of chairing meetings of the City Council and representing the city at public events. Apart from a few reserved functions, which are exercised by the City Council as a whole, executive power is exercised by the chief executive, a council official appointed by the Public Appointments Service.

Former office-holders[edit]

Among the former mayors of Cork, notable office-holders include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ O'Neill, Kevin (7 June 2016). "Des Cahill: Positivity will be my message as Lord Mayor". Eveningecho.ie. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  2. ^ Chairperson note: per section 32 of the Local Government Act, 2001: (3) Where titles are continued in accordance with subsection (1), the holders of the offices concerned shall, as appropriate, be styled— (b) in the case of Cork City Council, in the Irish language "Ard-Mhéara Chathair Chorcaí" and "Leas Ard-Mhéara Chathair Chorcaí", and in the English language "Lord Mayor of the City of Cork" and "Deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Cork".
  3. ^ "'It's not lost on me what this chain means': Councillor Kieran McCarthy elected as Lord Mayor of Cork". echolive. The Echo. 23 June 2023. Retrieved 24 June 2023.
  4. ^ Samuel Lewis, ed. (1840). A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland. Vol. 2 (2 ed.). London: S Lewis & Co. p. 408. Archived from the original on 27 September 2021. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  5. ^ "List of charters issued to Cork city". Cork City Council. Archived from the original on 14 December 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Mayor throws down gauntlet". Irish Examiner. 2000. Archived from the original on 22 August 2006.
  7. ^ "Clancy elected mayor of Cork". Irish Examiner. 22 June 2013. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  8. ^ English, Eoin (22 June 2006). "Cork's next lord mayor to be paid more than Polish PM | Irish Examiner". Archives.tcm.ie. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  9. ^ Louise Roseingrave (6 June 2014). "Cork city council opts for 'inclusive' d'Hondt system". Irishtimes.com. Archived from the original on 21 September 2020. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  10. ^ "'It is about being inclusive': John Sheehan wants to build connections as Cork's new Lord Mayor". irishexaminer.com. Irish Examiner. 7 June 2019. Archived from the original on 8 June 2019. Retrieved 13 June 2020.

External links[edit]