Prince Charles jokes that Cork's new Lord Mayor was fortunate to escape 'looking after him'

By Olivia Kelleher

A councillor who will this evening become the new Lord Mayor of Cork said that Prince Charles told him that it was fortuitous that his arrival into office came the day after the royal visit to Leeside sparing him a baptism of fire.

Prince Charles with Tanaiste Simon Coveney (left) and the outgoing Lord Mayor, Tony Fitzgerald (right)

Prince Charles joked with Independent Councillor, Mick Finn, that he was fortunate to escape "looking after him" when they met at the civic reception in Cork City Hall yesterday.

Cllr Finn, whose late father Mick Finn Snr, served as a councillor in the 1970's, said that he was delighted to be able to share the ceremony this evening with his mother Marie.

"My mother lives in Friars Walk in Cork. She is eighty next weekend so it is a big thing for her. My father would have been involved in the council back in the seventies. His brother and sister who are surviving will be there as well and my brothers and sisters.

My mother is from off Griffith's Lane off Barrack Street originally. My father was from the Lough. So we have always been in the city. There are a lot of challenges on the horizon. But I am looking forward to it. "

When asked if he ever expected to be in office at this level Cllr Finn said his sister maintains that he always had aspirations to either be the Lord Mayor or the Bishop of Cork.

He light heartedly said that he must have wanted a chain of some kind but the priesthood wasn't for him.

"When I went to school in Sullivan's Quay I remember all the Lord Mayor's coming. This is great for the family and it is great for my area."

Mick Finn (pictured below) was first elected to Cork City Council in 2009. A journalist by profession he worked in the newspaper and publishing sector in Cork for a number of years before moving to Australia as a deputy

editor of the Irish Echo in Sydney.

His various careers have seen him work as a GAA schools coach, a parliamentary assistant in the Oireachtas to former Fianna Fail TD John Dennehy and a project worker with the Deis School completion programme in Cork.

Meanwhile, the current Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald, is still literally hitting the ground running and is due to take part in a charity cycle up St Patrick's Hill in the city centre today.

Cllr Fitzgerald said the royal visit was a memorable way to end his term even if he was nearly as busy as Prince Charles and the Duchess with five engagements of his own to complete after lunch yesterday.

"(For the last day) I am going to cycle up Patrick's Hill and I have lots of other engagements in the afternoon. I am going to welcome my new grand niece, Penny, who is only four weeks old. She will be the last visitor in to the Lord Mayor's office in the afternoon. "

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