Lord Mayor

Lord Mayor's Chain of Office

Lord Mayor's ChainThe Chain of Office for Mayors is an ancient tradition, a badge of office, which Lord Mayor Gerald Goldberg noted was ‘…the distinguishing mark of a man who devotes his life to the care of the poor and afflicted’.

On 6 March 1787, at a meeting of the City Council, it is recorded that a resolution was passed ‘…that a collar of SS and gold chains be bought for the Mayor and Sheriffs of the city for the time, to be worn in their several offices for the honour and dignity of this city…to be delivered over by the Mayor and Sheriffs from time to time by their successors…’. Thus began the tradition of handing down the Chain of Office to each new Mayor

The ceremonial gold collar of S.S. worn by the Lord Mayors of Cork, is a very fine specimen of Civic insignia, the links of the S.S. joined alternately by links of looped gold and enamelled cinquefoils fifty-one links in all, terminating in a gold portcullis. Attached to the chain is a medallion bearing on the obverse the City Arms, and on the reverse the following inscription:-

"Cork, 9th June, 1787. The Right Worshipful Samuel Rowland, Esq., Mayor, was publicly invested by the Common Speaker, on behalf of the Commons, in open Court of D'Oyer Hundred with the Gold Chain, and immediately after the Mayor conferred the like Honor on the High Sheriffs, and lastly the Ceremony of investing the Mayor with this Pendant and Collar of S.S. was performed by a Deputation from the Council."

In considering the protocol, Council decided that an insignia be provided for general use for the Lord Mayor and that the Gold Collar be worn only on formal occasions. In 1976 the Corporation commissioned a firm of local silversmiths to make a silver collar for general use by the Lord Mayor.

The Sterling Silver Chain of Office consists of twenty S.S. links and ten knot links with the Cork Arms joined to the collar by a portcullis.

In 1961, the Cork Jewellers' Association presented to the Corporation a Gold Medallion to be worn by Lady Mayoresses, which is circular shaped with twist wire, and with a hand engraved Celtic border.  The centre portion has a Cork Arms worked in repousse with a spray of shamrocks, with green translucent enamelled background.

Mayor's Chain Bond 1826
Bond by Mayor Elect Richard Neville Parker on his use of the Chain of Office, 1826 (Cork City Archives)

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