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Cork Independent


Mixed reaction to Lord Mayor’s White House visit

Thursday, 16th March, 2017 1:01am

There was a mainly positive reaction to the news that the Lord Mayor will be in the White House for the St Patrick’s Day celebrations.

The Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Des Cahill was invited by the US embassy in Dublin to be part of the traditional ceremony where a bowl of shamrock is handed to the American president.

He will accompany An Taoiseach Enda Kenny for the presentation to President Donald Trump.

It is the first time a Lord Mayor of Cork has been asked to partake in the St Patrick’s Day celebrations in the White House.

The Fine Gael Councillor flew to Washington DC on Tuesday for the trip.

He informed elected members of the news of his invitation at a meeting of Cork City Council on Monday evening.

He told members that it was a great honour and that he would be back on time for the St Patrick’s Day parade in Cork city on Friday.

“Thankfully, I’m going to be back here for the parade,” he said.

While most welcomed and congratulated the Lord Mayor on his trip, Anti-Austerity Alliance/People Before Profit Councillor Fiona Ryan was very much against him visiting President Trump.

Cllr Ryan was critical of President Trump’s views and recent immigration policies he has introduced. However she also knew that her opinion would come “as no surprise” to other councillors in the chamber.

She said that partaking in the St Patrick’s Day celebrations the Lord Mayor was giving his “stamp of approval for the Trump administration and his policies”.

She then insisted that a vote should be taken on the Lord Mayor visiting the White House. However, the Lord Mayor replied that no vote could be taken as the news was just for councillors to note.

Fianna Fáil councillor Tim Brosnan said: “I wish you well Lord Mayor. We do well from US businesses in Cork.”

Cllr Brosnan added: “Tell him we’d like more jobs!”

Cllr Brosnan’s party colleague Cllr Kenneth O’Flynn said that it was a “great opportunity for the office of Lord Mayor”. He also said that it was a chance to promote Cork as a whole.

Fine Gael Cllr and Deputy Lord Mayor Joe Kavanagh also wished Cllr Cahill well, which led Fianna Fáil’s Terry Shannon to joke that he wasn’t to “invite him back!”

Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy described the visit as a “positive” one for Cork.



Prior to the Cork City Council meeting Cllr Tim Brosnan donned a cap with the words ‘Make Cork Great Again’.

This light-heartedness brought some giggles to the council chambers because one of President Trump’s campaign slogan was to make America great again.

Cllr Brosnan jokingly offered a loan of the cap to the Lord Mayor for his visit. It is understood that this offer was politely rejected!

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