Ex-mayor ‘devoted life to serving others’

A FORMER lord mayor of Cork and a legend on the city’s northside devoted his entire life to the service of others, mourners were told yesterday.

Hundreds of people applauded as the coffin carrying the remains of Independent Cllr Dave McCarthy was carried from St Mary’s on the Hill Church in Knocknaheeny after Requiem Mass for burial.

A former Fianna Fáil councillor, Mr McCarthy, 66, from Hillcrest Avenue, served the people of the city’s north west ward on Cork City Council for the last 25 years until his death at home on Monday after a long battle with cancer.

Chief celebrant Fr Pat Fogarty, PP, told mourners they were there to celebrate the life of the man known affectionately as “Davey Mac”.

In an emotional speech from the altar, Mr McCarthy’s son, Arthur, said although his father was small in size, he was huge in character.

“My dad was a man of the people. He got no greater pleasure than from helping people,” he said.

He spoke of his family’s pride when his father was honoured with a bravery award for saving two men from drowning in the River Lee, and of how much his father enjoyed a civic reception last year marking his 25 years in politics.

He spoke of his parents’ devotion to each other and of how his mother, Frances, nursed him lovingly over the last 12 difficult months.

But he said even on his deathbed, his father retained his sense of humour.

Arthur revealed how his dying father told his mother a few days ago that he knew he was going to heaven, but he wasn’t so sure about her.

“But in his own unique persuasive way, he said he’d guarantee her that he’d get her in,” Arthur said.

Close friends carried symbols of his life — a hurley, a football, a St Vincent’s GAA club jersey, Mr McCarthy’s cap, and his legendary notebook, known as his filing cabinet — to the altar.

Then two of his grandchildren, Clara and Cillian, placed the Sam Maguire cup on a table on the altar.

In his homily, Fr Fogarty said long before Mr McCarthy was a politician, he was a community activist who saw sport as a vehicle to involve young people, and that he loved St Vincent’s GAA club — a sod of clay from the club’s main pitch was buried with him.

He recalled how Mr McCarthy would spend hours in Tom Fingleton’s SuperValu with his notebook, but that the busiest office was the front room of the McCarthy home.

Among the mourners were Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, Senator Dan Boyle and several TDs.

The coffin was draped in the colours of St Vincent’s GAA Club, and was carried from the church, flanked by city councillors and members of St Vincent’s GAA club, who also escorted it through St Catherine’s Cemetery in Kilcully.

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