Taoiseach Micheál Martin has addressed a special meeting of Cork City Council tonight to mark his becoming the first former Lord Mayor of the city to become the head of the Government of Ireland.

Mr Martin served as Lord Mayor of Cork between 1992 and 1993 at the age of 32 years.

A copy of the then Cork Corporation's yearbook for 1992/1993 was gifted to the Taoiseach to mark tonight's occasion.

Inviting him to address the meeting, the Lord Mayor of Cork Councillor Colm Kelleher said the Taoiseach "is of this city and for this city".

The Taoiseach told the gathering, which included his wife Mary and children, as well as relatives, friends and city officials, that it is important to acknowledge the pivotal role that local government plays in the life of the nation.

"It is a pleasure to come back to the Council Chamber in City Hall to address this meeting of Cork City Council, 30 years after I chaired the meetings here as Lord Mayor and especially at this time of unprecedented and exciting change for Cork City," he said.

As the special meeting got underway, Workers Party Councillor Ted Tynan and Solidarity Councillor Fiona Ryan told the gathering they would be staging a walkout in protest at "the inaction of the Taoiseach on the cost of living crisis and against the Government's plans for increased militarisation.

On his arrival at City Hall earlier, the Taoiseach and his family were greeted by two separate groups of protestors - Families Unite For Services & Supports (F.U.S.S.) and the Cork Neutrality League.