In the story Ivy in the Committee Room in the book The Dubliners
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They think that with enough money anyone can be Lord Mayor, that it's no longer a position that's earned or respected, but that it's a position that can be bought and paid for.
"I think I know the little game they're at," said Mr. Henchy. "You must owe the City Fathers money nowadays if you want to be made Lord Mayor. Then they'll make you Lord Mayor. By God! I'm thinking seriously of becoming a City Father myself. What do you think? Would I do for the job?"