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County Mayor's diary

Thursday, 21st March, 2019 2:48pm

By Mayor of Cork Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy

Recently I’ve been talking about the way my life was turned upside down by a car accident in 1993, and it’s bringing back memories of that phase of my life. 

When I was 21 years old, I was obsessed with playing football for my local club Urhan and for Beara whenever I could. Apart from training and playing matches, I can’t remember doing much else. 

We didn’t have mobile phones then, obviously, and we never imagined that such a thing could exist outside science fiction movies (seriously). But what we did have was music.

I see young people today walking around with headphones on, feeding their senses with the music that soothes their souls. In our day, headphones were rare but we had cassette players and we bought albums on cassette. When a new song you liked came on the radio, you ran to press the play and record buttons to tape it so that you could listen to it over and over again, whenever you wanted. Imagine that for a treat! 

My favourite bands were Dire Straits and The Eagles. I listened to those tapes so often that they wore out. They literally wore to a thread. Whenever I hear a song by one of these bands now, I get a flash of nostalgia for a time when I was young and free, fit and able, and when the world was full of interesting possibilities.

Luckily, after the accident happened and I became a wheelchair user, I was able to pick myself up and refocus. The world was still full of interesting possibilities, just different ones. And that’s where I put my energy – focusing on the things I could do, rather than the things I couldn’t.
It’s probably that nostalgia for my youth that has led me to design a completely different Mayor’s Ball for 2019. It’s going to be an '80s night, a step back in time to the era of leg warmers and shoulder pads, big hairstyles and bold colours. 

This event has traditionally been held in the County Hall. I am moving it west to Bantry, and I want it to have a real West Cork feel about it: down to earth, homely and a bit of a laugh. The Mayor gets to decide which charity or charities benefit from the proceeds of the night. That was a tough decision and I agonised over it, because I know so many worthwhile charities. After consulting with a lot of people, I chose three - Cancer Connect, Cork ARC and Co-Action.

If you are free on Saturday 6 April, and you can make it to the Westlodge Hotel in Bantry, I would love to meet you at our Rewind to the Eighties Night. Tickets are €45 and that includes the most delicious party food from West Cork’s finest suppliers and some top-notch entertainment.
Celebrity solicitor Gerald Kean will be our MC for the night, and I will be hanging around myself hoping the DJ plays a lot of Dire Straits! To book, contact mayorscharityevent@corkcoco.ie or call 021-4285367. Tickets are also available from the Westlodge Hotel. Leg warmers are optional!

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