Former TD Dan Boyle becomes Cork’s first Green Party Lord Mayor

Fellow party member Honore Kamegni, the first black public representative on any council in Cork, was elected Deputy Mayor

Green Party Cllr Dan Boyle accepts the Mayoral chain for Cork from outgoing Lord Mayor Cllr Kieran McCarthy. Photograph: Barry Roche

Former Green Party TD Dan Boyle made electoral history in Cork on Friday night when he became the city’s first Green Lord Mayor as part of a four-party pact between Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, the Green Party and Labour.

Mr Boyle (61), who was elected a Green Party TD for Cork South Central in 2002 and later served as a Senator from 2007 to 2011, was nominated for the position of Lord Mayor by Green Party colleague, Cllr Oliver Moran and seconded by Fianna Fáil’s Cllr Sean Martin.

He defeated Sinn Féin Cllr Fiona Kerins, who was nominated by party colleagues Cllr Joe Lynch and Cllr Ken Collins, by 22 votes to seven with Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Greens, Labour and the Social Democrats and outgoing Lord Mayor, Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy.

Under the pact, which was roundly condemned by Sinn Féin’s Cllr Joe Lynch as “a deal to carve up position and perks”, will see Fianna Fáil hold the chair twice and Fine Gael, the Greens, and Labour once during the five-year term of the council.


A father of one and a grandfather of three, Mr Boyle recalled how when he was first elected to Cork City Council in 1991, he was “Green in every sense of the word, new and inexperienced on a Council which then also contained several TDs and Senators.”

The Green Party's Honore Kamegni (front) was elected Cork City's first black Deputy Mayor. Photograph: Barry Roche

But now over 30 years later with some 16 years on the council under his belt, he was hoping to focus during his mayoralty on giving greater impetus to addressing vacancy and dereliction, expanding the public realm, particularly green spaces, and improving the state of footpaths.

“There are too many vacant and neglected buildings in our city, buildings that have potential to house people, to give new life to communities, to provide customers for businesses particularly in the city centre,” he said in his acceptance speech at Cork City Hall.

Born in Chicago, Mr Boyle moved to Cork at the age of eight when his late father, Joe from Arranmore in Donegal and his late mother, Sheila returned to her home city, and he spoke about what an honour it was for him to be chosen as Cork’s First Citizen.

“I suppose I would have always hoped to become Lord Mayor because it’s such a great honour but I was also realistic that the route I had chosen, being in one of the smaller parties was always going to make it less rather than more likely.

“But it is a huge honour – I would rate it as being above the honour I had of being a TD for the city – it’s such a historic office going back to Mac Curtain and Mac Swiney and their sacrifice – it’s the highest possible honour you can achieve in public life in Cork so I’m really delighted.”

Fellow Green Party member and first-time councillor, Honore Kamegni (46), who became the first black public representative to be elected on any council in Cork, was elected Deputy Mayor, again with the support of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, the Greens and Labour.

Earlier, veteran Fianna Fáil Cllr Joe Carroll from Skibbereen was elected Mayor of Cork County and Independent Cllr Martin Coughlan from Macroom was elected Deputy Mayor following a pact between Fianna Fáil, Independents and Labour.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times