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Mary shields

Thursday, 26th June, 2014 1:00am

The recent election has given Cork a new Lord Mayor in the form of the Fianna Fáil councillor Mary Shields, who is dedicated to serving Cork and all her people. She becomes the second successive female Lord Mayor, the first time this has happened.

The Lord Mayor says her beginnings in politics were humble. “As a stay-at-home-mum, I was always very active in my local community in Bishopstown and I worked in my community for many years before I got elected into politics. In 1999 I got a phone call asking me whether I would run for election for Cork City Council and I was very pleased that I got the opportunity to stand for election.”

“I did very well and I got elected to City Council and the product of my time in politics is that I am very proud and delighted and humbled right now to be Lord Mayor of Cork. It is truly an honour that I don't take lightly and I will work as hard as I can to do what I can for the city for the year.”

As Lord Mayor Mary Shields has a huge range of responsibilities and will oversee numerous projects taking place in Cork.

“My main role as Lord Mayor on a daily and a weekly basis, is to fulfil many duties such as chairing and leading council meetings that deal with policy formation and many issues that are prioritised on the agenda. I am going to be very busy preparing and signing off on the budgets, which is a very important thing for councillors.”

“There are many exciting developments coming down the line in Cork; one thing happening in the city would be the building of the events centre. We will know about that on 14 July and we will know what area will be chosen but whichever site will be chosen the event centre will be a huge boost for the city.”

“The new Páirc Uí Chaoimh is a great innovation I think, and will help the GAA who are great to take care of young people and it will give every child the opportunity to play sport. I am delighted that Government are supporting GAA but equally I want to see support the other sporting disciplines such as rugby, soccer and even boxing.

“We are hoping that we might get the national diaspora centre in Cork. The team in City Hall are working very hard to get their bid that we may get that national diaspora centre in Cork and bring in a lot of people as well.”

The Lord Mayor has many different ideas and visions for Cork. “I would like to do something for the elderly and I would like to do is the change the culture and attitude of the past.”

She also hopes to help City Council “not to waste precious time on trivial stuff and see no more partisanship and party politics”.

“I am very anxious to see that Cork is a safe and cleaner city. The Department of Environment do an incredible job but if everybody cleaned up outside their own door and make life easier for all of us. A city inspiring pride is what I would like to see.”

“The challenges we expect to face include upgrading the city, filling vacant buildings and the boundary extension, which is of absolute paramount importance, we have been talking about it for years. We have no green field sites in the city for example. In the city we have only brown field sites and that is not good for a city; we can't expand and we can't improve. I think the only way that will come about is through ministerial order.”

“My true aim is to keep Cork a vibrant city because the city is the heart of Cork,” the new Lord Mayor adds, at the very beginning of her year's term.


Name: Mary Shields

Occupation: Lord Mayor of Cork

Favourite thing about Cork: Walking down Patrick's Street.

Least favourite thing about Cork: The dereliction.

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