Spotlight 2018

Mick Finn - Lord Mayor of Cork

27 Aug 2018

UCC Arts graduate, Cllr. Mick Finn, is the Lord Mayor of Cork city. Cllr. Finn, who represents the Cork South Central constituency, is the first Independent Lord Mayor in 70 years. He has had a varied career, working as a journalist in Ireland and Australia before turning his attention to local politics. He has a special interest in the areas of sport and education having coached GAA in schools and delivered programmes for students at risk of early school leaving. He talks to us about his memories of UCC, the pranks he played with his classmates and the people who influenced him!

Course/subjects studied in UCC and year of graduation
Bachelor of Arts (History & English) 1992
MSc Government & Public Policy (Thesis on Government Sports Policy Ireland v Australia) 2007

Best memory of University College Cork
The fantastic History Department lecturers (John A Murphy, Joe Lee, Dermot Keogh, John O’Brien, Jennifer O’Reilly)...and our class organising a strip-o-gram for John A’s last lecture!

How has your time at UCC helped you to get to where you are now?
I embarked on a long and winding road post UCC that brought me around the world to Athlone, Dublin, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Sydney before returning to academic and life education travelled with me every step of the way to my current position as Lord Mayor. I would not be where I am today without my time at UCC alongside my other experiences.

What is your advice to current UCC students?
Try to get the ‘academic’ weight on the scales balanced with the social life one. Both are important for your futures. Get involved with clubs and societies and make the first move to build new friendships. Be good ambassadors for your family, your place, your college. Education is no weight or baggage while seeing the world.

What person/people at UCC had the most positive influence on you?
I would have to say the late John O’Brien. His passionate lectures on Australian History (and not the fivers he offered for correct answers) resulted in me spending three years living Down Under. He was a brilliant man.

Were you involved in any Clubs or Societies?
I was involved with the UCC GAA Club (played Freshers and trained with Fitzgibbon team under the Canon: I later ended up playing Fitzgibbon with DIT), the Philosoph and the Gazette and the greatest mix of the two, the (old) College Bar!

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