Lord Mayor

Daniel J.Hegarty, the first Lord Mayor of Cork

Daniel J.HegartyAlthough there has been a Mayor of Cork since at least the 13th century, the first entitled the Lord Mayor of Cork was Daniel J. Hegarty in 1900. He was born on 6 January 1849, and was the son of a merchant from Summerhill, and he married a Margaret Murphy, the daughter of Alderman Michael Murphy.

The title ‘Lord Mayor’ was granted to Cork in Hegarty’s honour by a Charter, dated 9 July 1900, from Queen Victoria of England (1819-1901), following her visit to Ireland and Cork earlier that year.

One condition set down in the Charter which granted the title ‘Lord Mayor’ was that it would be officially enrolled in the High Court in Dublin within 6 months, the cost of this to be met by Cork Corporation. This caused some controversy amongst Members of Council, the overwhelming majority of whom were nationalist, and the motion to pay for the enrolling appears to have been defeated. It appears that Daniel Hegarty may have paid the cost by himself.

In December 2007, the original parchment Lord Mayor’s Charter, which had been kept by a distant descendant of Daniel Hegarty, was lodged in the Cork City Archives. A full-sized copy is on display in the Lord Mayor’s Chamber.

Lord Mayor’s Charter,

The Lord Mayor’s Charter, July 1900 ( Cork City Archives).

In his final months in office, Daniel Hegarty opened Eglinton Street Swimming Baths, and a Corporation housing scheme off Cornmarket Street. He died on 20 November 1914 and is buried at St. Finbarr’s Cemetery, Glasheen Road.

City Council Minute Book, 8 July 1722

Page from the oldest surviving City Council Minute Book, 8 July 1722, Mayor William Hawkins (Cork City Archives).

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