Irish dance superstar, Michael Flatley, has recorded a special video endorsing his former chef's bid to become the directly elected Mayor of Clonakilty in West Cork.
Richy Virhasawmy opened Richy's Restaurant in Clonakilty fourteen years ago. Richy is a Michelin trained chef who has appeared on the RTE Today show. He also runs cooking classes.
Virahsawmy, has cooked for Tony Blair and countless high-profile guests - including Bertie Ahern at 10 Downing Street.
In a video posted on the Richy for Mayor Facebook page Michael Flatley, who had a home for many years in Co Cork, said that he was giving his backing to the campaign of the restaurateur.
"Just a quick note to say I wish you the very best of luck in your bid to become the Mayor of Clonakilty. I know you a long time Richy and you are a great man. You richly deserve this honour."
Virahsawmy moved to Clonakilty in 2002. Born in Mauritius, he trained in catering at Merton College in Surrey and started his career as a commis chef in 1992.
He worked as a sous chef at Rowhill Grange Country House Hotel in Kent, before moving to the Lodge and Spa at Inchydoney Island in west Cork as senior sous chef with award-winning Chris Farrell.
Richy became executive head chef at the Department of Trade and Industry in London in 1999, managing 33 chefs and responsible for Tony Blair’s dining at 10 Downing Street.
He was subsequently executive head chef at AstraZeneca headquarters in London.
Meanwhile, Clonakilty is the only town in Ireland with its own mayor after the government abolished all the statutory town councils in May 2014.
Local history group, Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage, organised a special election in which nine people stood for the position of non-political, community, voluntary mayor.
Some 1,600 people voted and five candidates were elected, and since then have held the position of mayor for one-year terms, in the order in which they were elected by the people.
Ten community non-political candidates will be on the ballot paper on Saturday when the people of Clonakilty go to Scoil na mBuachaillí to vote in the Clonakilty Mayoral Election. Polling will be open from 9am to 7pm.