Northern Ireland’s Lord Mayor of Belfast offered an enthusiastic endorsement of a certain Irish-American mayoral candidate Thursday morning during a visit to Gracie Mansion.
“We think that every city needs an Irish mayor. And New York has had a series of wonderful mayors and we think it would be wonderful in the days ahead, in the short time ahead, if New York had an Irish-American mayor again,” Lord Mayor Máirtin Ó Muilleoir told Politicker this morning, as he posed for photographs with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn by his side.
While Mr. Ó Muilleoir didn’t mention Ms. Quinn by name, he made little secret that he was referring to the grinning redhead standing beside him, and who had been gushing over him other earlier as they spoke.
“The generosity of Irish Americans-which is wonderful for us back in Ireland–and also the ability of the Irish to make connections, to win people over, those are great qualities in a mayor. So we’re fairly hopeful that we will have an Irish-American major soon,” he added speaking in a thick Irish brogue.
Mr. Ó Muilleoir spent the morning at Gracie Mansion, where he chatted with the mayor and speaker, as well as Ms. Quinn’s father, Larry Quinn.
At one point, Mr. Ó Muilleoir’s told Ms. Quinn she didn’t have the time to attend the visit. ”For you, lord mayor, I wouldn’t miss the visit,” came the reply.
When they finished, Mr. Ó Muilleoir presented Mr. Bloomberg with a Belfast Giants hockey jersey with the name “Bloomberg” and number “1.”
“Let the press notice that it went to the Jew, not to the Irish Catholic,” said the mayor, as he held it up for a photo.
“I have a jersey already from the Lord Mayor,” Ms. Quinn said, jokingly putting on airs.
Mr. Bloomberg, who was in especially good spirits, also joked that he was “off to Long Island City, where we’re gonna announce the presidential campaign”– an effort, he said, to encourage reporters to come to a press conference the two were holding on new building guidelines to better protect residents from future mayor storms.
There, Mr. Bloomberg, who has refused to reveal his preferred successor, once again praised Ms. Quinn.
“I’ve said this 1,000 times: I don’t agree with her on some things, I violently disagree with her on some things, but she has been a very good speaker who has, by and large, kept the City Council voting on those things that are important and directing them on the best interests of the city,” he said.
Ms. Quinn’s family immigrated from Ireland–her grandmother was a passenger on the Titanic, in fact. But Mr. Ó Muilleoir also shares a common trait with the current tech-focused, media mogul mayor. Before he was elected, he was managing director of the Belfast Media Group an publisher of the Irish Echo here in New York.