Cllr Honore Kamegni.

'I am very proud of what I have achieved'

By Maisie Mould

Honore Kamegni of the Green Party has made history as the first ever black man to be elected to the Cork City Council.

He began his campaign in April 2023, which he described as a “very hardworking fourteen months”. Over this time, he paid visits to more than 15,000 residences in Cork.

Speaking with the Cork Independent, he said: “I am very proud of what I have achieved. I said to myself that I have to change Cork City Council.”

He said he faced some difficulties, including being a target of racist abuse online. “I receive a lot of hatred, a lot of hostility from the far right, but it’s something I didn’t really want to focus on.”

He believes that the abuse comes from far-right individuals or groups overseas. In January, he stated via social media that he believes the rise of the far right is a “growing concern” for Ireland that must be addressed by building strong communities.

However, he said that it was not reflected in anyone he spoke to during his campaign, and chooses not to let it distract him. “I just focus on my campaign and continue to work hard.”

“The real people I was talking to were very, very encouraging and very, very supportive. So any kind of hostility I receive online is from people hiding behind their keyboards.”

Cllr Kamegni acknowledged the positive response he received during his campaign, saying that the people of Cork want to see change and more diversity on the city council.

A proud member of the Green Party, he cited their “tremendous support” during his campaign. He also credited his family and “dynamic and ambitious” campaign team for his achievement.

“I want to tell all the people who put their trust in me that I will continue to work hard for them.”

Originally from Cameroon, in west Africa, he came to Ireland in 2002, and worked as a postman in Douglas and Rochestown for 14 years prior to becoming a Green Party candidate. Cllr Kamegni will represent the people of the Cork City South East LEA following his election in last weekend’s local elections. He was elected after the 12th count.

Cllr Kamegni hopes his election will “serve as a pathway for the future generation” and will make way for more diversity within the council.

He said his focus as a newly elected councillor will be on improving public transport in Cork, addressing the housing crisis by decreasing housing dereliction, and creating public gardens in the city.

He also wishes to help the situation of people who are struggling to find crèche places for their children.