New Lord Mayor for Ringsend

Pictured: At the boxing club launch were Anthony O’Riordan, Marian Finn, Deke, Chris Andrews and two girls from Stella Maris.

The campaign to elect the new Lord Mayor of Ringsend and Irishtown was held during the last few weeks of April, and Tony McDonald, aka Deke Rivers, has emerged as the new Lord Mayor. He was inaugurated during the Mayday festival held in Ringsend.

According to Lorraine Barry of the Ringsend and Irishtown Community Centre, the duties of the Lord Mayor involve attending official community functions.

The nominees for the Lord Mayor were Aisling Waters, Kate O’Connor, Boy Murphy, Alice Larkin, Helen Walsh, Sharon Bolger, Paddy Sunderland, Declan Clayton, Brian Betts and Deke Rivers. Barry explained they were happy to include all nominees, they even received the humorous suggestion Mickey Mouse.

Pictured: At the Sean Moore Awards were Philip Murphy, Matthew Barry, Deke, Aidan Barry, Bobby Joe Barry (who won the award), and Deborah Barry

The community was then asked to vote on whom they would like to choose for Lord Mayor and Deke Rivers ultimately won. Barry said she was delighted with the choice, considering all the community work Rivers had done and continues to do.

Former Lord Mayor, Alice Larkin, stated that it was “brilliant being Lord Mayor” and that she had “really enjoyed getting invited” to the various events. She felt that one of her best experiences was meeting the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins and subsequently being invited to the Mansion House for tea. She was delighted last year with the 1916 celebrations she attended, “all dressed up in the old-fashioned clothes,” to commemorate those who fought for Ireland’s independence.

Alice Larkin has been of great service to the local community in Ringsend both as Lord Mayor and in a personal capacity, teaching Gaelic to children as well as through events such as helping the homeless.

She said she was sad to leave the position, but thought that Rivers was an excellent choice as her successor saying, “he does a lot of work for the community to keep children off the street.”

Pictured: In the Pieta House walk, Deke is with Lorraine Murphy and her friend.

Rivers has dedicated 30 years of his life to trying to enable children by giving them activities to do and enjoy in an effort to keep them out of harm’s way. These activities involve rowing, football and fishing.

He stated that his goal was to ”try and guide them to be good citizens,” but added that “lots of people do a lot of great work.” Expanding on this, he made the point that “for anybody in the community who might be isolated or lonely – message them, try and do any little thing to keep them in the community. It’s worthwhile doing. The rewards are in yourself.”

Rivers also stated that he would like to thank Alice Larkin for the wonderful job she had done as previous Lord Mayor. Referring to his election, he stated that he was “overwhelmed to have been elected by his peers,” and that it was “a great honour and a humbling occasion.”

He was grateful for the support he received on Facebook, where he received 100 comments and 300 likes approving his success. He wished to thank the “hardworking staff who were so professional throughout Mayday and its preparations.”

He further stated that he was “glad to be associated with the people in the community centre and I hope I can represent them the way I should.”

By Kevin Mac Sharry